Finding yourself

My book is launching!

Book cover - click on image to enlarge

My book, “Do not marry before age 30” is launching in China!  The book is now available in Chinese within China.   I do not yet have a publisher for the English edition, so if you’re interested in seeing it in English, enter your email address in the upper-right corner of the blog, and I will let you know when it is available in English.

This book is my love letter to Chinese women everywhere.  Whether you’re single, married, divorced or widowed, whether or not you have children, this book is for you.  It’s my answer to the #1 question that I have received from all of you Global Rencai blog readers: “How can we get it all?”  In other words, how can I achieve the career of my dreams AND the family of my dreams?

Men don’t ask this question – women do.  That’s because – as I sat down to think about my editor’s challenge to write a book for Chinese women, I realized that the path to success for women today is very different than for men.

Indeed, all the cultural pressures that for centuries have constrained Chinese women’s lives are encapsulated in one modern-day command:  Marry young – and jump into women’s traditional role as wife and mother – or risk being a leftover woman.

This is a book about my own evolution from a shy and scared young Chinese girl in America into a global citizen and take-no-shit older woman.  It’s about how I was appointed Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles at age 31, and my later work headhunting for global companies.  And this is a book about love, about how I found Dave, and how you can use advanced headhunting techniques to bag the man of your dreams.

In these pages I lay bare the things I know now that I wish I’d known when I was starting out.  My triumphs, my regrets.  The things I would do over again if only I could.  Recollections that make me laugh, memories that make me cry.

I hope that this book encourages you to go out and find the right answers for your life.  Above all, I hope that this book encourages you to be brave, to dare to ignore the rules, to go out and grab hold of everything in this world that you know you deserve.

Here’s an excerpt:

For our mothers and grandmothers, a man was husband material if he had a job, didn’t drink too much, and didn’t beat you. That doesn’t cut it for us.  We don’t want just any man; we want a good man.  We don’t want a marriage based on duty.  We want love. In the words of the idealistic Charlotte in Sex and the City, we want to “dream the impossible dream!”

And that’s just in the marriage department.  In our careers, we want to soar as well.  We worked – so hard – for all that education, and now we want to put it to use and do something.  We don’t want to just survive in society.  We want to lead society.

And so we find ourselves at this strange in-between moment in Chinese history.  We’re surrounded by people who tell us that what we’re looking for is unrealistic.  They tell us to hurry up, settle down, make a baby.  And yet… we can’t.  Now that we want more, we can’t go back to wanting less.  No longer can we live out our lives by simply going along with what’s expected of us.

We’re the first generation of women who want it all.

The possibilities ahead seem endless, and that’s exhilarating.  But at the same time, they’re deeply confusing.  Now that we can do anything, what should we do?

This is a book of strategy.  I do not have all the answers.  I have not learned all of life’s lessons.  I still have a lot of living to do myself.

You may or may not agree with everything I have to say.  My goal is not to convince you of anything, but simply to start a conversation:  Here’s what I think.  What do you think?

Here’s the Table of Contents:

Foreword by Yue-Sai Kan
Introduction
Chapter 1:  Why young women falter
Chapter 2:  Down with society’s fantasy of marriage
Chapter 3:  What is love?
Chapter 4:  You just wanna marry a rich guy, right?
Chapter 5:  Solitude and the lost art of creativity
Chapter 6:  Be true to yourself
Chapter 7:  Explore the vast possibilities of your life
Chapter 8:  The power of perspective
Chapter 9:  Should you have sex with your boss to get ahead?
Chapter 10:  Where are all the good men?
Chapter 11:  Married men and other Mr. Wrongs
Chapter 12:  Even a successful woman can be a fox
Chapter 13:  Date 100 Men.  Three at a time.
Chapter 14:  Make your own life decisions
Chapter 15:  Love the world
Dave has something to say

The book is priced at 32 RMB. That’s less than 1% of the price of that LV handbag you’ve had your eye on!   But it will be worth more to you than the LV bag.

Working on this book made me realize that, even though the circumstances of our lives differ, many of the big questions that we as women face are the same.  And yet we never talk about them, even with our closest friends!   I believe that there’s huge value to be gained through the fun and fascinating conversations we as women can have amongst ourselves. This book is aimed at helping spark those conversations everywhere.

The book will be available in June in some major bookstores. You can already buy the book now by clicking these links to  Amazon China and Dang Dang.  Ask your local bookseller when it will be available in your area.  Please drop me a Weibo tweet @陈愉Joy Chen when the book hits your bookstore – it will be exciting to see the book spread across China!

Dave and I and our two baby girls will be in Shanghai until June 7, and then in Beijing until July 18, when we return to the States.  I will travel to other cities if there are sponsors to host events elsewhere.

Upon my return to the States, I’ll make the book available in English everywhere, and in Chinese outside of China. You can stay posted on further news by subscribing your email address on the upper right corner of the blog.  With all my traveling around the next two months, I may not get much opportunity to update the blog, so for current updates, please find me on Douban, Weibo, and Renren.

Download a free excerpt of the book (in Chinese) here.

I wish you each a wonderful start to your summer. Hope to see you soon!

 

Comments welcome, in Chinese, on the Chinese version of this post, here.
To hear Joy read this post in English, subscribe to the GlobalRencai podcast on iTunes, or hear or download the MP3 here.