Extended Audio Sample

Download Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China, by Leslie T. Chang Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,645 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Leslie T. Chang Narrator: Susan Erickse Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $21.99 Download
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Download learn more )

An eye-opening and previously untold story, Factory Girls is the first look into the everyday lives of the migrant factory population in China.

China has 130 million migrant workers—the largest migration in human history. In Factory Girls, Leslie T. Chang, a former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Beijing, tells the story of these workers primarily through the lives of two young women, whom she follows over the course of three years as they attempt to rise from the assembly lines of Dongguan, an industrial city in China’s Pearl River Delta.

As she tracks their lives, Chang paints a never-before-seen picture of migrant life—a world where nearly everyone is under thirty; where you can lose your boyfriend and your friends with the loss of a mobile phone; where a few computer or English lessons can catapult you into a completely different social class. Chang takes us inside a sneaker factory so large that it has its own hospital, movie theater, and fire department; to posh karaoke bars that are fronts for prostitution; to makeshift English classes where students shave their heads in monk-like devotion and sit day after day in front of machines watching English words flash by; and back to a farming village for the Chinese New Year, revealing the poverty and idleness of rural life that drive young girls to leave home in the first place. Throughout this riveting portrait, Chang also interweaves the story of her own family’s migrations, within China and to the west, providing historical and personal frames of reference for her investigation.

A book of global significance that provides new insight into China, Factory Girls demonstrates how the mass movement from rural villages to cities is remaking individual lives and transforming Chinese society, much as immigration to America’s shores remade our own country a century ago.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Chang’s deeply affecting book tells the story of the invisible foot soldiers who made China’s stirring rise possible.”

    New York Times

  • “Engrossing…an exceptionally vivid and compassionate depiction of the day-to-day dramas, and the fears and aspirations, of the real people who are powering China’s economic boom.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Chang delves deeply into the world of migrant workers to find out who these people are and what their collective dislocation means for China. Chang skillfully sketches migrants as individuals with their own small victories and bitter tragedies, and she captures the surprising dynamics of this enormous but ill-understood subculture.”

    Washington Post

  • “Chang reveals a world staggering in its dimensions, unprecedented in its topsy-turvy effects on China’s conservative culture, and frenetic in its pace…Chang deftly weaves her own family’s story of migrations within China, and finally to the West, into her fascinating portrait…Factory Girls is a keen-eyed look at contemporary Chinese life composed of equal parts of new global realites, timeless stories of human striving, and intelligent storytelling at its best.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Fascinating…Chang powerfully conveys the individual reality behind China’s 130 million migrant workers, the largest migration in human history.”

    Boston Globe

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Celine | 2/19/2014

    " A powerful and touching account of the living conditions, hopes and aspirations of migrant workers in the factories of contemporary southern China. The author's own quest for her roots interestingly collides with these girls' search for a better future - and their move away from their own countryside roots and family values. The book gives a voice to the millions of pairs of hands who are sewing and gluing together luxuries for us spoilt westerners and that they can't even dream of affording. You will never look at your fancy running shoes the same way again after reading this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Iris Wong | 2/14/2014

    " I found it repetitive to the point of boredom. Some of the stories were interesting but they weren't enough to balance out the other sections. I found the mixing of the family story and the migrant stories made the book too disjointed. I gained a new perspective into modern China and that's the only reason I didn't give the book 1 star. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Martha | 2/10/2014

    " Fascinating look at one aspect of rapidly changing society. The situation of these girls brings to mind similar girls who left rural US farms in the 19th century to work in the mills of New England. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Suzanne | 2/5/2014

    " An interesting and informative read. "

  • > Show All
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Leslie T. Chang lived in China for a decade as a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, specializing in stories that explored how socioeconomic change is transforming institutions and individuals. Her first book, Factory Girls, was named a New York Times Notable Book and one of the best books of the year by many publications. Chang is a recipient of a PEN USA Literary Award and an Asian American Literary Award. A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in American History and Literature, Chang has also worked as a journalist in the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. She was raised outside New York City by immigrant parents who forced her to attend Saturday-morning Chinese school, for which she is now grateful.