Book Review: China in Drag by Michael Bristow
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It’s an icy Wednesday afternoon in February, and I’ve just had a tooth taken out. Cold and with a throbbing jaw, I half-heartedly decide to spend a couple of hours reading BBC journalist Michael Bristow’s new book, China in Drag, before calling it a day. By page six, I’m sold. The book opens with some context – a theme Bristow sticks to throughout. During his time as a correspondent based in Beijing, he had decided to learn Mandarin, and employs a local elderly man, known only as the Teacher, to help. Over the years the two become friends and, whilst on the road, Bristow is surprised to learn that he is a cross-dresser. The friendship culminates in the only way a writer knows how: with Bristow writing a book about the man’s life, travelling with him, and most importantly, the country’s recent history.
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