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Mitch Moxley hits a personal low in his mid-twenties. His career is pretty much nonexistent and he’s tired of the cold, gray Toronto winters. He starts looking for jobs overseas and stumbles on a job working for a state newspaper in China, the China Daily. He applies and lands himself a one year contract.
He heads on over, knowing that he isn’t really prepared for life in Communist China but not really understanding what that means. He has issues with censorship at the paper almost from the beginning and quickly gives up trying to change anything or doing any actual reporting. He makes some friends, offends some people, drinks a lot, and starts heading down that tired old expat path.
Luckily, he does change directions. He finally goes into life in China with a bit of a Yes Man attitude and finds himself in some unbelievable situations. He watches all the buildup for the Olympics. He starts doing some serious reporting. Through it all, he slowly slides closer to the Chinese side on the Foreigner/Chinese scale.
I like reading books about people who are brave enough to pack up and move away from everything they know, not just to another city, but to a whole different country. I can’t even begin to imagine the culture shock, especially going from Canada to China. I have been disappointed a couple of times in other books when the author chooses to write about his or her experiences partying and drinking. That is not even remotely what I’m looking for when I pick up this kind of memoir.
Mitch started down that path and I got worried but then he turned himself around and started writing about life in China, not life in bars. He started getting out and experiencing things that I can’t even conceive of from my armchair in the States. “Rent a White Guy.” Seriously? They do that? Human trafficking. Chinese dating shows. The Beijing Olympics. Chinese music videos. I found it all fascinating, occasionally scary, and sometimes hilarious. I learned a lot about a country that is very much a big unknown to me. This was what I was hoping to find when I requested a copy of the book for review.
If, like me, you love to experience other cultures from the safety of your home, go ahead and give this a try.
Read an excerpt.
Buy Apologies to My Censor at
I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site. My opinions are completely my own.