Author: Mary Costello
Publisher: Canongate Books
An elderly schoolteacher recalls the single act of youthful passion that changed her life forever. A young gardener has an unsettling encounter with a suburban housewife. A teenage girl strikes up an unlikely friendship with a lonely bachelor. In these twelve haunting stories award-winning writer Mary Costello examines the passions and perils of everyday life with startling insight, casting a light into the darkest corners of the human heart.
Author: Mary Costello
Publisher: Text Publishing
A collection of twelve exquisite stories that explore how ordinary men and women endure the trials and complexities of life and the ripples of disquiet that lie beneath the surface. An elderly schoolteacher recalls the single act of youthful passion that changed her life forever; a young gardener has an unsettling encounter with a suburban housewife; a wife who miscalculated the guarantees of marriage embarks upon an online affair. And in the title story a teenage girl strikes up an unlikely friendship with a lonely bachelor. Love, loss, betrayal. Grief, guilt, longing. The act of grace or forgiveness that can suddenly transform and redeem lives. In these twelve haunting stories Mary Costello examines the passions and perils of everyday life and relationships and, with startling insight, casts a light on the darkest corners of the human heart. With a calm intensity and an undertow of sadness, she reveals the secret fears and yearnings of her characters, and those isolated moments when a few words or a small deed can change everything, with stark and sometimes brutal consequences. The stories in this collection: The China Factory You Fill up My Senses Things I See The Patio Man This Falling Sickness Sleeping with a Stranger And Who Will Pay Charon? The Astral Plane Little Disturbances Room in Her Head Insomniac The Sewing Room Mary Costello is originally from East Galway and now lives in Dublin. Her stories have been anthologised and published in New Irish Writer and in The Stinging Fly. The China Factory is Mary's first book of stories. 'It is the accumulation of tiny pleasures...that makes The China Factory such a satisfying and accomplished debut...[Mary Costello's] writing has the kind of urgency that the great problems demand - call them themes; they are the kind of problem that make a writer. With a bit of luck, they could keep her at the desk for the rest of her life.' Anne Enright, Guardian 'A publishing coup...there are shades of John McGahern and William Trevor in many of these disquieting tales of loss and regret but Costello's nimble, exacting prose style is very much her own. The stories engage with the human condition in such a profound way it's no wonder they leave an indelible mark.' Metro Herald 'These twelve stories examine the dark side of everyday life...Echoing Thomas Hardy, she reveals how even ordinary lives can be full of drama and incident...Beautifully crafted but never pretentious, Costello's stories are stark and honest and her characters linger long after you close the book.' Books Ireland 'The subtle underpinnings, the intuitive capacities - the eye for details, the feel for language, the care of it—are much in evidence...One hopes to read more of Mary Costello.' Irish Times 'Twelve perfect stories...Mary Costello has an acute ear for dialogue, but her real talent is for choosing what to leave unsaid...A collection of exquisite stories so intricately wrought, so unique and enthralling as to be utterly bewitching.' Sunday Independent
Author: Mary Costello
Publisher: Dufour Editions
Mary Costello carefully examines the perils and passions of everyday life and relationships; with startling insight she casts a light on the darkest corners of the human heart.
Author: Pun Ngai
Publisher: Duke University Press
As China has evolved into an industrial powerhouse over the past two decades, a new class of workers has developed: the dagongmei, or working girls. The dagongmei are women in their late teens and early twenties who move from rural areas to urban centers to work in factories. Because of state laws dictating that those born in the countryside cannot permanently leave their villages, and familial pressure for young women to marry by their late twenties, the dagongmei are transient labor. They undertake physically exhausting work in urban factories for an average of four or five years before returning home. The young women are not coerced to work in the factories; they know about the twelve-hour shifts and the hardships of industrial labor. Yet they are still eager to leave home. Made in China is a compelling look at the lives of these women, workers caught between the competing demands of global capitalism, the socialist state, and the patriarchal family. Pun Ngai conducted ethnographic work at an electronics factory in southern China’s Guangdong province, in the Shenzhen special economic zone where foreign-owned factories are proliferating. For eight months she slept in the employee dormitories and worked on the shop floor alongside the women whose lives she chronicles. Pun illuminates the workers’ perspectives and experiences, describing the lure of consumer desire and especially the minutiae of factory life. She looks at acts of resistance and transgression in the workplace, positing that the chronic pains—such as backaches and headaches—that many of the women experience are as indicative of resistance to oppressive working conditions as they are of defeat. Pun suggests that a silent social revolution is underway in China and that these young migrant workers are its agents.
Author: Leslie T. Chang
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
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 monklike 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.
Author: Paul Midler
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
An insider reveals what can—and does—go wrong when companies shift production to China In this entertaining behind-the-scenes account, Paul Midler tells us all that is wrong with our effort to shift manufacturing to China. Now updated and expanded, Poorly Made in China reveals industry secrets, including the dangerous practice of quality fade—the deliberate and secret habit of Chinese manufacturers to widen profit margins through the reduction of quality inputs. U.S. importers don’t stand a chance, Midler explains, against savvy Chinese suppliers who feel they have little to lose by placing consumer safety at risk for the sake of greater profit. This is a lively and impassioned personal account, a collection of true stories, told by an American who has worked in the country for close to two decades. Poorly Made in China touches on a number of issues that affect us all.
Author: Mary Costello
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A vibrant, intimate, hypnotic portrait of one woman's life, from an important new writer Tess Lohan is the kind of woman that we meet and fail to notice every day. A single mother. A nurse. A quiet woman, who nonetheless feels things acutely—a woman with tumultuous emotions and few people to share them with. Academy Street is Mary Costello's luminous portrait of a whole life. It follows Tess from her girlhood in western Ireland through her relocation to America and her life there, concluding with a moving reencounter with her Irish family after forty years of exile. The novel has a hypnotic pull and a steadily mounting emotional force. It speaks of disappointments but also of great joy. It shows how the signal events of the last half century affect the course of a life lived in New York City. Anne Enright has said that Costello's first collection of stories, The China Factory, "has the feel of work that refused to be abandoned; of stories that were written for the sake of getting something important right . . . Her writing has the kind of urgency that the great problems demand" (The Guardian). Academy Street is driven by this same urgency. In sentence after sentence it captures the rhythm and intensity of inner life.
Author: Rosemary Coates
Publisher: Happy About
Through over 20 extraordinary executive interviews, Coates captures the essence of sourcing and manufacturing in China.
Author: Stefan Al
Publisher: Hong Kong University Press
Most consumer products come primarily from the Pearl River Delta, the "factory of the world" with the largest industrial region on earth. The delta has attracted millions of poor rural residents to settle in factory towns in hopes for a better life. Factory Towns of South China opens a window on these walled compounds, exposing the gritty establishments, crowded dormitories and monotonous labor carried out by workers. Some function as self-contained cities, with their own fire brigade, hospital, bank, TV station and as many as half a million workers living within the compounds. Other factories are scattered in larger villages to mask their existence and evade governmental crackdowns on the production of fake consumer goods and illegal casino machines. Contributors include David Bray, Minnie Chan, Jia-Ching Chen, Paul Chu Hoi Shan, Eli Friedman, Claudia Juhre, Laurence Liauw, Paul Lin, Ting Shi, Casey Wang, Rex Wong, and Chun Yang. Stefan Al is director of the Urban Design Program at the University of Hong Kong.
Author: Tim Clissold
Publisher: Harper Collins
Mr. China tells the rollicking story of a young man who goes to China with the misguided notion that he will help bring the Chinese into the modern world, only to be schooled by the most resourceful and creative operators he would ever meet. Part memoir, part parable, Mr. China is one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.
Author: Alexandra Harney
In this landmark work of investigative reporting, former Financial Times correspondent Alexandra Harney uncovers a story of immense significance to us all: how China's factory economy gains a competitive edge by selling out its workers, environment, and future. Harney's firsthand reporting brings us face-to-face with a world in which intense pricing pressure from Western companies combines with ubiquitous corruption and a lack of transparency to exact a staggering toll in human misery and environmental damage. This eye-opening expose offers, for the first time, an intimate look at the defining business story of our time.
Author: Irene Yuan Sun
Publisher: Harvard Business Press
A Best Business Book of 2017 -- The Financial Times China is now the biggest foreign player in Africa. It's Africa's largest trade partner, the largest infrastructure financier, and the fastest-growing source of foreign direct investment. Chinese entrepreneurs are flooding into the continent, investing in long-term assets such as factories and heavy equipment. Considering Africa's difficult history of colonialism, one might suspect that China's activity there is another instance of a foreign power exploiting resources. But as author Irene Yuan Sun vividly shows in this remarkable book, it is really a story about resilient Chinese entrepreneurs building in Africa what they so recently learned to build in China--a global manufacturing powerhouse. The fact that China sees Africa not for its poverty but for its potential wealth is a striking departure from the attitude of the West, particularly that of the United States. Despite fifty years of Western aid programs, Africa still has more people living in extreme poverty than any other region in the world. Those who are serious about raising living standards across the continent know that another strategy is needed. Chinese investment gives rise to a tantalizing possibility: that Africa can industrialize in the coming generation. With a manufacturing-led transformation, Africa would be following in the footsteps of the United States in the nineteenth century, Japan in the early twentieth, and the Asian Tigers in the late twentieth. Many may consider this an old-fashioned way to develop, but as Sun argues, it's the only one that's proven to raise living standards across entire societies in a lasting way. And with every new Chinese factory boss setting up machinery and hiring African workers--and managers--that possibility becomes more real for Africa. With fascinating and moving human stories along with incisive business and economic analysis, The Next Factory of the World will make you rethink both China's role in the world and Africa's future in the globalized economy.
Author: Joshua B. Freeman
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
A sweeping, global history of the rise of the factory and its effects on society. We live in a factory-made world: modern life is built on three centuries of advances in factory production, efficiency, and technology. But giant factories have also fueled our fears about the future since their beginnings, when William Blake called them "dark Satanic mills." Many factories that operated over the last two centuries—such as Homestead, River Rouge, and Foxconn—were known for the labor exploitation and class warfare they engendered, not to mention the environmental devastation caused by factory production from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution up to today. In a major work of scholarship that is also wonderfully accessible, celebrated historian Joshua B. Freeman tells the story of the factory and examines how it has reflected both our dreams and our nightmares of industrialization and social change. He whisks readers from the textile mills in England that powered the Industrial Revolution and the factory towns of New England to the colossal steel and car plants of twentieth-century America, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union and on to today’s behemoths making sneakers, toys, and cellphones in China and Vietnam. The giant factory, Freeman shows, led a revolution that transformed human life and the environment. He traces arguments about factories and social progress through such critics and champions as Marx and Engels, Charles Dickens, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Ford, and Joseph Stalin. He chronicles protests against standard industry practices from unions and workers’ rights groups that led to shortened workdays, child labor laws, protection for organized labor, and much more. In Behemoth, Freeman also explores how factories became objects of great wonder that both inspired and horrified artists and writers in their time. He examines representations of factories in the work of Charles Sheeler, Margaret Bourke-White, Charlie Chaplin, Diego Rivera, and Edward Burtynsky. Behemoth tells the grand story of global industry from the Industrial Revolution to the present. It is a magisterial work on factories and the people whose labor made them run. And it offers a piercing perspective on how factories have shaped our societies and the challenges we face now.
Author: Beth Macy
Publisher: Little, Brown
The instant New York Times bestseller about one man's battle to save hundreds of jobs by demonstrating the greatness of American business. The Bassett Furniture Company was once the world's biggest wood furniture manufacturer. Run by the same powerful Virginia family for generations, it was also the center of life in Bassett, Virginia. But beginning in the 1980s, the first waves of Asian competition hit, and ultimately Bassett was forced to send its production overseas. One man fought back: John Bassett III, a shrewd and determined third-generation factory man, now chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co, which employs more than 700 Virginians and has sales of more than $90 million. In FACTORY MAN, Beth Macy brings to life Bassett's deeply personal furniture and family story, along with a host of characters from an industry that was as cutthroat as it was colorful. As she shows how he uses legal maneuvers, factory efficiencies, and sheer grit and cunning to save hundreds of jobs, she also reveals the truth about modern industry in America.
Author: Deborah A. Kaple
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Drawing on previously unknown primary sources in both Chinese and Russian, Deborah A. Kaple has written a powerful and absorbing account of the model of factory management and organization that the Chinese communists formulated in the 1949-1953 period. She reveals that their "new" management techniques were adapted from Soviet propaganda during the harsh period of Stalin's post-war reconstruction. The idealized Stalinist management system consisted mainly of strict Communist Party control of all aspects of workers' lives, which is the root of such strong Party control over Chinese society today. Dream of a Red Factory is a rare and revealing look at the consolidation rule in China; told through the prism of the development of new "socialist" factories and enterprises. Kaple completely counters the old myth of the "Soviet monolith" in China, and carefully reconstructs how the Chinese communists came to rely on an idealized, propagandistic version of the Soviet model instead.