As I live in China and am writing my own book on my life in China over the past decade, I took particular note of a book which will be released next month called "Lessons From China: A Westerner's Cultural Education" By Beau Sides. The beauty of fiction is that no matter how close to real life it is, the writer is always in control of the storyline. Not so for something non-fictional. At any rate, judging by the publicity material, if the book delivers its promises, the average westerner will be able to learn a lot about this ancient and mysterious country. I personally find that the 'ideologically driven' western perception of China misses the mark by a mile. Perhaps this book will help rectify that.
Peachtree City, Georgia-- As more westerners travel to China for business, leisure, and humanitarian service, learning cultural norms has become a necessary and indispensable for social and economic survival and immersion. Nobody understands this more than Beau Sides, author of Lessons From China: A Westerner's Cultural Education (Rutledge Publishing; paperback; April 7, 2014).
After over forty trips and numerous teaching tours, Sides considers China his second home. With each opportunity, Sides continues to build cross-cultural relationships between Americans and the Chinese by fostering cultural awareness. His frequent travels to the Middle Kingdom have ensured the relevancy of his writing.
In his new book, Lessons from China, Beau Sides shares unique insights on current Chinese culture, business, personal etiquette, and economic development through a fictional travelogue. Delicately sprinkled with bits of historical background, this easy-to-read story follows Jan Cross, a recent college graduate.
Jan is a friendly, caring and resourceful main character but exemplifies the characteristics of a "control freak" and must work through the obstacles that come with cultural differences during her journey. To change her ultra-independent ways that stem from her own challenges as an orphan, Jan throws herself into an environment that will force her to depend on others--in a small city in China -- as a university English teacher. As a first-time international traveler, she fails to anticipate cultural differences between the United States and China, getting herself an on-the-job cultural education--but not before jeopardizing her position by accidentally challenging the university with her western ideology and relentless pursuit of helping students.
Lessons from China is a heartwarming exploration of China that innocently, and often humorously, takes in to account the many differences and similarities to US culture through the eyes of a young American and first-time traveler.
Readers will appreciate the accuracy and the detail of Lessons from China and how it reflects China as it is today. This easy read is recommended for China enthusiasts, Teachers of English as a Second Language (TESL), domestic teachers and students, business travelers, leisure travelers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and sending organizations will love Lessons from China.
About Beau Sides
Beau Sides, author of Lessons from China: A Westerners Cultural Education, is the founder and president of Global Partners in Life (GPiL), a non-profit organization that helps orphaned children, special needs orphans, and disadvantaged youth with educational, humanitarian and medical needs in China. Since 2004, GPiL has been giving for the purpose of enabling young lives to prosper.
As a businessman, teacher, humanitarian, and husband, Sides enjoys the business of making life better for those around him. Formerly, he served in the tech world successfully as a manager for IBM. As his interest in Chinese culture grew, he earned the title of teacher while serving on numerous teaching tours as an English language instructor at a Chinese university and other business and language schools in China. His passion is to serve others, and doing so as the president of Global Partners in Life has been his focus and joy. Beau lives in Georgia with Leah, his beautiful wife of more than 26 years. For more information on Beau Sides, visit his website www.beausides.com.
"Lessons From China: A Westerner's Cultural Education
By Beau Sides
Published April 4th 2014