Every year well over 200 million farmers flock to China's urban centers, providing a profusion of cheap labor that helps fuel the country's staggering economic growth. In Eating Bitterness: Stories from the Front Lines of China's Great Urban Migration, award-winning journalist Michelle Dammon Loyalka follows the trials and triumphs of eight such migrants. At the heart of the book lies each person's ability to "eat bitterness" — a term that roughly means to endure hardships, overcome difficulties, and forge ahead. The stories told in Eating Bitterness not only offer an inside look at the pain, self-sacrifice, and tenacity underlying China's dramatic national transformation, but also demonstrate how the issues migrants face constitute one of China's most pressing domestic challenges.
Michelle Dammon Loyalka is an award-winning journalist who lived in China for nearly 15 years./ Her book, Eating Bitterness: Stories from the Front Lines of China's Great Urban Migration (University of California Press, 2012), provides an insider's look at the people underlying China's dramatic turnaround. She is also a contributor to Chinese Characters: Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land (University of California Press). She has freelanced for publications including The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Inc., and the San Francisco Business Times and spoken on issues related to China's migration and urbanization at venues including the United Nations, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.
In addition, Ms. Loyalka has extensive business experience in China in both education and technology. She served on the board of directors of the Concord Educational Network in Zhuhai, worked as a department head at Calikai Software in Xi'an, and launched a business consulting company in Xi'an's High Tech Development Zone. She holds a master's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism and currently lives in the Bay Area.
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