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Tide Players

The Movers and Shakers of a Rising China

In Tide Players, acclaimed New Yorker contributor and author Jianying Zha depicts a new generation of movers and shakers who are transforming modern China. Through half a dozen sharply etched and nuanced profiles, Tide Players captures both the concrete detail and the epic dimension of life in the world’s fastest growing economy. Zha’s vivid cast of characters includes an unlikely couple who teamed up to become the country’s leading real-estate moguls; a gifted chameleon who transformed himself from Mao’s favorite “barefoot doctor” during the Cultural Revolution to a publishing maverick; and a tycoon of home-electronic chain stores who insisted on avenging his mother, who had been executed as “a counter-revolutionary criminal.” Alongside these entrepreneurs, Zha also brings us the intellectuals: a cantankerous professor at China’s top university; a former cultural minister turned prolific writer; and Zha’s own brother, a dissident who served a nine-year prison term for helping to found the China Democracy Party. Deeply engaging, lucid, and poignant, Zha’s insightful “insider-outsider” portraits offer a picture of a China that few Western readers have seen before. —The New Press

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Jianying Zha
The New Press
March 29, 2011
Author

Jianying Zha is a writer, media critic, and China representative of the India China Institute at The New School. She is the author of one book in English, China Pop (The New Press, 1996), and five books in Chinese: three collections of fiction and two nonfiction books, including The Eighties, an award-winning cultural retrospective of the 1980s in China. She has published widely in both Chinese and English for a variety of publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, Dushu, and Wanxiang. She lives in Beijing and New York.