The author interviewed thirty-six citizens of the People's Republic of China; each chapter of the book is a transcript of each interview turned into a single narrative flow, as if the interviewed person is talking alone during the whole interview, without interruptions from the journalist.
Some people the author has interviewed are:
- a new tycoon
- a worker coming to Beijing from the countryside
- a young athlete
- the founder of a private orphanage
- a prostitute
- a computer hacker
It was translated into Italian in 2007.
- Modern Chinese Women Writers: Critical Appraisals - Page 215 Michael S. Duke - 1989 "This quotation and other observations about Zhang Xinxin's life and thought are based on personal discussions with the ... 16 Sang Ye, "About Chinese Profiles," Chinese Profiles: 371. l At least one Chinese critic has remarked on the fruitful "
- Chinese lives: an oral history of contemporary China Xinxin Zhang, Ye Sang, William John Francis Jenner - 1988
- Mao's Children in New China: Voices from the Red Guard Generation - Page xxvi Yarong Jiang, David W. Ashley - 2000 "Sang Ye and Zhang Xinxin, eds, Chinese Profiles (San Francisco: China Books and Periodicals, 1987), which contains interviews with 100 ordinary Chinese citizens, some of whom are from the Red Guard generation. One of the earliest works of this type was B. Michael Frolic, Mao's People: Sixteen Portraits of Life in Revolutionary China 1981"
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