Factory Girls is most certainly for the socially-conscious reader. It is also for those patrons who are easily immersed in the stories of others. As New York Times reviewer Patrick Radden Keefe states of Chang’s spotlight on the women who make the Coach purses and Nike shoes we Americans so covet:
“By delving so deeply into the lives of her subjects, Chang succeeds in exploring the degree to which China’s factory girls are exploited — working grueling hours in sometimes poor conditions for meager wages with little job security — without allowing the book to degenerate into a diatribe.”
I have found that, as a reader, it often takes one extraordinarily ordinary story for me to become invested in something I feel I should have known about all along. See my previous posts on The Translator (here) and Road of Lost Innocence (here), for example. Be sure to seek out Factory Girls and add it to your shelves not only for the economy and news junkies but also for the regular folks like me who will surely be moved by these girls’ stories.