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Young China

How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World

Zak Dychtwald

St. Martin's Press

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ISBN10: 1250078814
ISBN13: 9781250078810


304 Pages



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There are about 200 million of China's "restless" generation, those born in the 1990s. While their parents were forced to focus on basic needs, Chinese millennials are the first modern generation that gets to ask en masse: Who do we want to be? What is our role in the world? Their answers will shape the future of China. Their sheer number will help shape the century for all of us.

Zak Dychtwald was twenty when he first arrived in China. He spent most of his twenties there, living with Chinese roommates, including punk rockers and prospective CCP cadre, in apartment shares and hostels, talking over long train rides and endless restaurant meals, and creating a full Chinese "mental diet"—that is, speaking Mandarin only.

In this compelling narrative, Dychtwald offers an up-close look at the Chinese generation born after 1990, including how young Chinese think and feel about everything from money and sex to their government, the West, and China's shifting role in the world—not to mention their love affair with food, karaoke, and travel. Set primarily in the eastern second-tier city of Suzhou and the budding Western metropolis of Chengdu, Young China explores the touchstone issues this young generation faces, from single-child pressure in conflict with deeply held Confucian values to test-taking madness and the frenzy to buy an apartment as a prerequisite for marriage; from one-night stands to an evolving understanding of family.


Praise for Young China

"Engrossing . . . [Dychtwald] writes with an infectious energy . . . To make sense of contemporary China, it is crucial to understand the varied aspirations, anxieties, fears and fantasies of the many millions of Chinese—as big a group as the entire populations of some sizeable countries—who were born after the year that soldiers killed protesters near Tiananmen Square. Young China provides an excellent starting point for doing just that."The Wall Street Journal

"Fascinating . . . a remarkably revealing portrait of China's youngest generations."Christian Science Monitor


Read an Excerpt


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About the author

Zak Dychtwald

Zak Dychtwald moved to China after graduating from Columbia University. He has recently relocated to New York City where he has founded a think tank and consultancy focused on young China. A fluent Mandarin speaker, he spends nearly half of the year in China.

Zak is the author of Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World.


Zak Dychtwald

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