What, BLF alumnus Leslie T. Chang, asks in the latest issue of The New Yorker, do the most industrious people on earth read when they’re not working?
The answer as it turns out: novels about, what else, work.
In the piece, the Factory Girls author mines Chinese bestsellers like The Diary of Government Official Hou Weidong, Du Lala’s Promotion Diary and The Get-Rich Diary of China’s Poorest Guy for insights into Chinese society and some practical career advice (see below) for would-be cubicle kings (and queens).
“Socialize with rich people. They know more than the poor.”
“Hire subordinates who are barely adequate or they’ll make you look bad.”
“When bribing an official, have your business partner deliver the money so your hands stay clean.”
New Yorker subscribers can access the article here.
For non-subscribers, a completely non-inclusive list of workplace books.
Tom Rachman’s The Impressionists
Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to the End
Studs Terkel’s Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do
Joseph Heller’s Something Happened
Tim Clissold’s Mr. China