Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China (Paperback)

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About the Author


Leta Hong Fincher is an award-winning former journalist who has published in a number of magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times. She is completing her Ph.D. in Sociology at Tsinghua University.

Paul French has been based in Shanghai for many years as Chief China Representative of research and analysis consultancy Access Asia. He is a regular commentator of China and North East Asia on the international media. He is the author of a number of previous books including the well received North Korea The Paranoid Pensinsula for Zed Books.

Sam Chambers has lived in China for a decade and his career as a travel and transport writer has taken him to the four corners of the country. He has co-authored a number of books including a travel guide to Yunnan and Hunan provinces as well as a transportation guide to the Yangtze. Writing for a variety of titles including the Sunday Times and the Royal Geographic Society Chambers follows very closely the day-to-day needs and demands of this rapidly evolving nation. After living in Hong Kong for many years he is now based in the northeastern city of Dalian.

Praise For…


“Making the most of her experience as a journalist and her training in sociology, Leta Hong Fincher draws on previous breakthrough works in Chinese gender studies and her own interviews, while proving equally at home summarizing statistics and telling poignant tales of individual experience. The result is an engagingly written, thought-provoking work on a crucially important but often overlooked subject. Essential reading.” —Jeffrey Wasserstrom, author of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know

“Cast aside what you think you know about the “empowered” women of China today. Modern Chinese women are under pressure in a society that often locks them out of social equality, property rights, and legal protection from domestic abuse. This is the reality that China scholar Leta Hong Fincher puts forward in her study of resurgent gender inequality in China. Her book is a well-researched and riveting read, including a number of gripping personal accounts straight from China's so-called “leftover women”. For any curious observer of China or women's issues, this is one to read.” —Kristie Lu Stout, anchor/correspondent, CNN International

“A brilliant, compelling, and innovative study of contemporary China and one of the most important sociological inquiries into the political economy of gender. Leta Hong Fincher's richly detailed research and critical analysis of gender politics in Leftover Women provide an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to understand the key socio-economic transformations in post-socialist China.” —Lydia H. Liu, Columbia University, co-editor of The Birth of Chinese Feminism

“In lively and accessible prose, Hong Fincher demonstrates conclusively that urban professional women have been disproportionately disadvantaged during China's breakneck economic development and largest wealth accumulation in human history. Hong Fincher exhaustively cites media, government statistics, her own interviews, and her Weibo survey results to substantiate the fact that gender inequality in China has reappeared with a vengeance and shows no signs of abating any time soon.” —Rebecca E. Karl, New York University

“Makes a powerful - and provocative - argument that China's female shortage, far from empowering women, has actually resulted in a situation where urban women's rights are increasingly imperilled…Leftover Women [will] leave readers coldly angry.” —LA Review of Books

“Leta Hong Fincher's subject – researched through statistical analysis, sociological surveys and extensive first-hand interviewing – is the toxic vitality of sexism in China today…[Leftover Women] is scattered with inspiring life-stories of courageous women who have faced down appalling discrimination.” —The Guardian

“A chilling account of the pressures on Chinese strivers… One hopes that Leftover Women will soon be translated into Chinese, as it is likely to resonate deeply with urban educated women. It seems the party has forgotten the Mao-era dictum: “Women Hold Up Half the Sky.”” —The New York Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9781780329215
ISBN-10: 1780329210
Publisher: Zed Books
Publication Date: April 10th, 2014
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Asian Arguments