Aisling Juanjuan Shen was born to illiterate peasants in a tiny rice-farming hamlet in China's Yangtze Delta in the ‘70s. Pronounced useless by her parents because she wasn't good at planting rice, she became the first person from her village ever to attend college. After graduating from a teachers' college, she was assigned by the government to a remote and low-paying teaching job that she was expected to hold for the rest of her life. Deeply dissatisfied, she bought her way out of her secure government job and left for the special economic zones of southern China in search of happiness and success in the business world. In 2000 Aisling immigrated to the U.S. and graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College in 2005. She is currently working as an equity analyst in an investment management firm in Boston.
A Tiger's Heart chronicles Aisling's rise from poverty in the rice fields of rural China to a successful career in business in the early days of the country's economic boom, illustrating the massive economic and social changes that have taken place in China over the past several decades. Her story is emblematic of a new generation of Chinese women who are leaving the rice paddies and government jobs in order to enter the free market and determine the course of their own lives.
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