If, like us, you’ve often wondered what it might be like to travel around China with your cross-dressing language teacher, China in Drag by Michael Bristow is a perfect addition to your reading list. Ok, so we hadn’t wondered it at all until we hosted the launch of this book last Wednesday, but now it’s all we want to do.
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Approaching the end of his eight year stint in Beijing, BBC journalist Michael Bristow decided he wanted to write about the country’s modern history. To assist him he asked for the help of his language teacher, who was born just two years after the communist party came to power in 1949. The changing fortunes of his life have mirrored the ups and downs of his country, which has moved from communist poverty to capitalist wealth in just a single generation. It came as a surprise though, to learn that the teacher was also a cross-dresser. Michael gradually realised that the teacher’s story is the story of modern China.
Michael had the whole crowd laughing as he read us some excerpts from China in Drag. Yes, it is at times humorous but more importantly it is the story of the world’s most powerful nation, told through a single life.
You know it’s a sign of good book when the author can’t stop reading it (painted nails optional).
China in Drag by Michael Bristow £8.99
Published by SandStone Press