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Small Strokes

Roseann Lake

Author, Journalist
Red Doors



I'm a hybrid American/Spanish journalist perhaps best known for my work on China and a book I wrote during the 5 years I spent living and working in Beijing. 

LEFTOVER IN CHINA, as it's called, has been published in EnglishFrench, and Mandarin and became a DangDang bestseller in China three days after it was released. It has been reviewed and referenced widely by major international press and has also become - or so I'm generously told - something of a hit in China. If you read Chinese, here's plenty more on that.


Despite now being home in the US, China is always on my mind. Some of my fondest memories are of my days in Beijing, as are some of my dearest friends. It's a place I still write about and visit as often as possible, though my reporting focus now also includes Cuba (another very misunderstood and completely bewitching country) on which I report for The Economist.



Leftover in China, cover-page-001.jpg

"They spoke of marriage of marriage like one might speak of an ingrown toenail - with urgency, a niggling element of pain, and the full knowledge that if it wasn't addressed in the imminent future, things would only get worse."

Trailers & Talks


“Refreshingly optimistic… [A]n invigorating account of China’s rapidly changing culture, told from the perspective of a particularly unique segment of the population."
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"Lake captures China’s tense sociopolitical climate today, as ancient, deeply rooted traditions, values and beliefs about sex, romance, and marriage clash with the powerful current trend toward individualism. The aftershocks of the ‘one-child’ policy; Chinese women entering the market in droves; today’s antiquated Chinese courtship codes; this book depicts the profound global shift in human family life with elegance, clarity, insight, humor, and verve." 


Helen Fisher, author of Anatomy of Love
Publisher's Weekly
“Lake has written a fascinating survey of singlehood and marriage in China, where seismic shifts have rendered the social landscape virtually unrecognizable. Packed with lively interviews and fascinating historical details, Leftover in China is vivid, generous, and illuminating.”
Kate Bolick, author of Spinster