In this Book

summary
“The ugly wife is a treasure at home” is not just an idle expression in China. For centuries, Chinese marriage involved matchmakers, child brides, dowries, and concubines, until the People’s Republic of China was established by Mao Zedong and his Communist Party in 1949. Initially encouraging citizens to reject traditional arranged marriages and wed for love, the party soon spurned ”the sin of putting love first,” fearful that romantic love would distract good Communists from selflessly carrying out the State’s agenda. Under Mao, the party established the power to approve or reject proposed marriages, to dictate where couples would live, and to determine if they would live together. By the 1960s and 1970s, romantic love had become a counterrevolutionary act punishable by “struggle sessions” or even imprisonment. The importance of Chinese sons, however, did not wane during Mao’s thirty-year regime. As such, in a world where nobody spoke of love, 99 percent of young women still married. The Ugly Wife Is a Treasure at Home draws the reader into the world of love in Communist China through the personal memories of those who endured the Cultural Revolution and the generations that followed. This collection of intimate and remarkable stories gives readers a rare view of Chinese history, social customs, and Communism from the perspective of today’s ordinary citizens.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-14
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  1. Note on Pronunciation
  2. pp. 15-16
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  1. Introduction: Who Wants an Ugly Wife?
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. Prologue: Rooster Weddings, Second Wives, and Little Feet
  2. Chang Xing
  3. pp. 19-22
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  1. PART ONE The 1950s Generation: When Love Didn’t Exist
  2. pp. 23-27
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  1. Love after Revolution
  2. Jack Chou (b. 1954)
  3. pp. 28-36
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  1. We Didn’t Know What Love Was
  2. Lucy Lai (b. 1957)
  3. pp. 37-47
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  1. The Three Wives of a Former (Teenage) Intelligence Operative
  2. Tom Liu (b. 1958)
  3. pp. 48-56
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  1. The First Group Wedding in Zhengzhou
  2. Ma Yajing (b. 1959)
  3. pp. 57-62
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  1. The “Old Hand” Man
  2. Mr. Yang (b. 1959)
  3. pp. 63-68
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  1. PART TWO The 1960s Generation: Forbid the Early Love
  2. pp. 69-72
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  1. Marriage Is Nothing Special
  2. Ziu Shouhe (b. 1960) and Lin Chunjiao (b. 1962)
  3. pp. 73-79
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  1. Wearing White for Chairman Mao
  2. Xu Kiwi (b. 1966)
  3. pp. 80-86
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  1. The Boy with the Baby-Raise-Wife
  2. Liu Wumin (b. 1966)
  3. pp. 87-92
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  1. My Reasons for Hating My Father
  2. Wen “Ayi” (b. 1967)
  3. pp. 93-98
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  1. A Good Fortune-Teller and Three Tips for Concealing Your Outside Woman
  2. Mr. Zhang (b. 1968) and Mr. Wu (b. 1977)
  3. pp. 99-103
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  1. You Know Your Boyfriend Is Married If . . .
  2. “Big Carol” (b. 1968)
  3. pp. 104-108
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  1. PART THREE The 1970s Generation: Sex and Love . . . or Marriage?
  2. pp. 109-111
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  1. My Lover’s Name Is Sam
  2. Fangfei (b. 1972)
  3. pp. 112-122
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  1. For One Tree, Do Not Sacrifice the Forest
  2. Ming-Ming (b. 1972)
  3. pp. 123-130
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  1. Shenzhen Marriage Park: Want Ads of Last Resort
  2. Jason (b. 1974)
  3. pp. 131-142
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  1. The Ultimate Perfect Happiness as a Stay-at-Home Mom
  2. Sally (b. 1976)
  3. pp. 143-153
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  1. A Man Who Could Speak His Own Name
  2. Chou Xiao (b. 1978)
  3. pp. 154-162
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  1. PART FOUR The 1980s Generation: Reform and Opening Up of the Heart
  2. pp. 163-166
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  1. Girls
  2. Ben Wang (b. 1980)
  3. pp. 167-175
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  1. Six Times Love
  2. Pan Shanshan (b. 1984)
  3. pp. 176-181
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  1. Everyone Knows That a Girl Shouldn’t Like a Girl
  2. Riley (b. 1985)
  3. pp. 182-196
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  1. A Wife of Noble Character, Who Can Find?
  2. Lightly Chanchan (b. 1985)
  3. pp. 197-204
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  1. A Tale of Two Sisters: Arranged Marriages and Secret Boyfriends
  2. Lingyu (b. 1986)
  3. pp. 205-209
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  1. She Cut Out My Chicken Eyes
  2. Licai (b. 1988)
  3. pp. 210-214
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  1. PART FIVE The 1990s Generation: Unguided Love
  2. pp. 215-217
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  1. The Buddhist Oracle Said “No Boyfriends”
  2. Carrie (b. 1990)
  3. pp. 218-225
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  1. I Thought We Would Be Together Forever
  2. Ethan Li Mingwen (b. 1994)
  3. pp. 226-232
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  1. I Thought to Myself
  2. Yu Lihe (b. 1995)
  3. pp. 233-239
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  1. A Conventional Man
  2. Will Guo Pingyou (b. 1996)
  3. pp. 240-244
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  1. There Are Three Kinds of Chinese Parents
  2. Emma Yang Xichi and Peony Li Dandan (b. 1999)
  3. pp. 245-254
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 255-280
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 281-286
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 287-288
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781612347042
Related ISBN
9781612346946
MARC Record
OCLC
883571285
Pages
304
Launched on MUSE
2014-12-05
Language
English
Open Access
No
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