There are more than 320 million people in mainland China between the ages of sixteen and thirty. Children of the one-child policy, born after Mao, with distant memory of Tiananmen, they are the first generation to come of age in a market-driven, more international China. Who are these young Chinese? What are their experiences and aspirations, so radically different from their elders? And how will their differing views and values decide the future of their nation? Alec Ash, author of Wish Lanterns, a new nonfiction book that follows six such lives from childhood to late twenties, shares some of his insights about the generational trends shaping young China today, and how it connects to China’s history of youth protest.
We invite Alec Ash, Writer and Journalist to discuss.
Alec Ash is a writer and journalist in Beijing, author of Wish Lanterns, published by Picador in June 2016 and featured as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. He studied English literature at Oxford University, and first moved to Beijing in 2008. His articles have appeared in The Economist, Dissent, Foreign Policy and elsewhere. He is a regular blogger for the Los Angeles Review of Books, contributing author to the book of reportage Chinese Characters and co-editor of the anthology While We’re Here. Twitter: @alecash