*1/2 Buy Me The Sky by Xinran


Buy Me the Sky: The Remarkable Truth of China’s One-Child Generations is constructed as a series of portraits of only children brought up in China, all known to the author, who for many plays a very assertive role in their lives, so don’t expect much in terms of a detached or general view. There is the graduate student who does not know how to unpack a suitcase or use a hanger (his mom always did that for him), the waitress who is shocked that her boss dares to criticize her poor performance (her parents never did), and the young woman who feels she must be perfect (so her parents don’t lose face through her). Each portrait is interesting, but they seem too hand-picked to have much of a collective meaning.

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