There are hundreds of thousands of expatriates in China. They come from all over the globe, as the Middle Kingdom is becoming the center of the world again.
Alexandra Pearson, one of those expatriates, originated from the south coast of England, and she has lived in Beijing for almost twenty years.
Pearson is the daughter of a British diplomat and first lived in Beijing in 1982. She speaks fluent Mandarin and has traveled extensively in China.
In fact, Pearson earned a degree in Chinese at the University of Westminster then returned to Beijing in 1992 to study at the Central Conservatory of Music.
However, in 2004, she opened The Bookworm in Beijing—a bookstore, lending library, literary venue and restaurant. Today, there are locations in Beijing, Chengdu and Suzhou.
In 2006, Pearson gained a business partner in Peter Goff, an Irish journalist and another expatriate. He opened the Chengdu and Suzhou Bookworms. In recent years, there have also been literary festivals organized by The Bookworms in all three cities.
In fact, books banned in Mandarin are often available in English and/or other languages and the Chinese Communist Party does nothing to censor banned books published in those other languages. Consider the fact that learning how to read and speak English is mandatory in China’s public schools, and one has to wonder why bother to censor anything unless its another way to generate jobs and keep the people busy.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.
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