Lijia has been concentrating her efforts on two books concerning prostitution in China. While she is only a couple months from putting the finishing touches on a work of fiction, she has yet to really dig in to her second book. This second book, a work of non-fiction, brings to light many realities of prostitution in China–an issue that has received relatively little attention. And as she notes, “the history of prostitution in contemporary China is a barometer of the country’s changes throughout the modern era.” For her book Lijia has interviewed multiple sex workers, but says that building relationships with them has been difficult. One day a girl will be available to talk, the next she will refuse. Sometimes girls disappear completely.It has not all been bad news though. Some of the women Lijia has spoken with were able to escape their brothels and dedicate their time to educating other prostitutes about the dangers of sexually transmitted infections. Lijia always hopes her writing can lead to more such stories.Lijia says that when she thinks about her writing, she sees it as pushing her towards her greater goal. As someone who grew up in China she has access and insight into local society, but also has the education that allows her to share the realities of Chinese life with the rest of the world. “My self-appointed mission in life is being the bridge, being the cultural bridge.” Lijia’s life goal is to increase global understanding. If that isn’t why we travel, what is?
On Thursday November 8 the China Weekly Hangout (10pm Beijing Time, 3pm CET, 10am EST) will focus on the future of nuclear power in China, what are the risks after Fukushima, and might a succesful NIMBY protest be possible? Here you can register at our events page. Or see the announcement here.
- Literature is literature, no government critique – Zhang Lijia (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- The suicidal migrant worker and me – Zhang Lijia (chinaspeakersbureau.info)