Memoir - foreign babes in beijing

Hi. I’m a taiwanese american here in the american burbs and found this book at the local library, which I just devoured straight through -

Foreign Babes in Beijing ( Rachel Dewoskin ) , published '05

It strikes me at first blush as the best ‘waiguoren in the far east’ memoir I’ve read, in terms of dealing with the psychological layers of living as a waiguoren out East, coupled with the added layer of this gal having become a minor celebrity in mid-90’s China, due to her having acted in a popular, cheesy Beijing soap-opera of the same title as her memoir ( Yang Niu Zai Beijing ) … playing an aggressive sex-driven white gal, the part serving as stereotypical grist pandering to lowest common denominator Zhongguo tastes and tropes.

Has anyone heard of or read this recent memoir ? or caught any of the original 90’s soap-opera ?

I recommend the memoir for thought-provoking stabs at the whole East-West question.

Mark in Texas

Yes, it was widely reviewed when it came out. Her father is a famous China watcher as well–there is a trend of the children of Chinese academics coming out here and writing books about the first had experiences their (usually) fathers had. Rebecca Mackinnonis another.

Thanks. What were the reviews like ? generally positive , I guess ?

Dewoskin’s experiences, at least, most definitely seem to have been her own. Never heard of her father in the world of sinology …


I haven’t read the book yet, but I know they are making a movie from the book. Alice Wu is the director… she also directed SAVING FACE which was a romantic dramedy from last year starring Michelle Krusiec. I think the film won a Golden Horse for Audience favorite and had a limited release here and is now on DVD. It’s a charming film worth watching. I’m interested to see what Alice does with this next film.