Foreigners have been living and working in China – and writing about it – since the old days of Carl Crow, author of “Foreign Devils in the Flowery Kingdom”. In the 1980s Mark Salzman wrote the first “teaching” memoir “Iron & Silk”, and Peter Hessler has become a household name for his China-themed books and columns. But what bizarre and extraordinary tales from present-day China lurk beyond the mass-market memoirs?
1. Foreign Babes in Beijing by Rachel DeWoskin
2. American Shaolin by Matthew Polly
3. Mr. China by Tim Clissold
4) Monkey House Blues by Dominic Stevenson
5) Big in China by Alan Paul
Becoming a rock star in China…now that’s something to write home about! Alan Paul was a Mr. Mom in Beijing. But while the wife worked and the kids were at school, he picked up the guitar and played his way to stardom.
6) Pretty Woman Spitting by Leanna Adams
7) Silent Tears by Kay Bratt
8) Eating Smoke by Chris Thrall
9) Lost in Translation by Nicole Mones
10) Unsavory Elements by various authors
Many of the authors on this list recently got together to share new stories from their time in China in an anthology called Unsavory Elements. It’s a fine companion piece, encompassing every imaginable expatriate scenario.