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Yin-Yang American Perspectives on Living in China by Terry Lautz

Yin-Yang American Perspectives on Living in China


Yin-Yang American Perspectives on Living in China by Terry Lautz

China has become one of the largest study and teach-abroad, travel, and business destinations in the world. Yet few books offer a diversity of perspectives and locales for Westerners considering the leap. This unique collection of letters offers a rarely seen, intimate, and refreshingly honest view of living and working in China. Woven through this correspondence is the compelling theme of outsiders coping in a culture that is vastly foreign to them and the underlying love-hate struggle it engenders. These tales of trials, successes, and failures offer invaluable insight into a country that remains endlessly fascinating.


[Ying-Yang] gives a sense of time passing, and shows these teachers moving from their initial astonishment and shock to understanding and enjoyment (in most cases) of a new culture. After finishing just the first chapter, I was wishing that I had had such a guide before coming to China; it would have saved me from many headaches... I would highly recommend this book to anyone thinking about teaching in China, and even more so for those who already have... As one teacher sums up his experience, 'There are good China days and bad China days. The good far outnumber the bad, and even the bad have their good side.
Seeing Red in China The opening line of a letter to Alice speaks volumes:

'we need your sage advice.'
The cadre of adventuresome educators crafted by the redoubtable Alice Renouf represent the future of the Sino

-American partnership, and it is her vision of who is needed to deliver the goods that makes for the endeavor's success. One thing is for sure: Whenever we take the plunge into China, the moment is unique, and these letters chronicle the experiences of those fortunate enough to have Alice as a lifeline during times that can be had only in China. -- Peter Rupert Lighte, founding chairman, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, China Some of the letters are laugh-out-loud funny; all are intensely real. Reading them in chronological order captures the extraordinary pace of change in China since 1991. And they achieve their goal magnificently: Anyone who reads this book will be fully prepared to face all the challenges of living in China. -- Valerie Hansen, Yale University This terrific book provides thoughtful and thought-provoking insights into just how overwhelming, rewarding, scary, exciting, lonely, humorous, and enriching it is to be a foreign teacher in China. We are adding it as a must-read, not just for those we send to China as part of our Teacher Exchange Program, but also for those whose dreams take them only as far as the living room couch. -- Jan Berris, National Committee on United States-China Relations

About the Author

Alice Renouf has been the executive director of the Colorado China Council since the late 1970s. Mary Beth Ryan-Maher is a freelance writer who taught in Kunming, China, and co-led the Colorado China Council's Shanghai Summer Institute for new teachers.

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd November 2011


Terry Lautz

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield


246 pages


Living & working abroad
Travel writing
Diaries, letters & journals
Anthologies (non-poetry)



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