Roseann Lake

Roseann Lake covers Cuba for The Economist. She was a TV reporter in China for five years and has written for The Atlantic, Time, Salon, and Foreign Policy, among others. She lives between New York City and Havana.



Factory Girls meets The Vagina Monologues in this fascinating narrative on China’s single women—the source of its future.

Forty years ago in China, marriage was universal, compulsory, and a woman’s only means to livelihood. Enter the one-child policy, which despite its horrors, has resulted in China’s first generations of urban only daughters – girls who were raised without brothers but who were pushed to study, achieve, and succeed as if they were sons. Fast forward to the present, where in an urbanized, economic powerhouse, enough of these women have decided to postpone marriage—or not marry at all—to spawn a label: “leftovers.” Unprecedentedly well-educated, they struggle to find partners in a society where gender roles have not evolved as vigorously as China itself.  Part critique of China’s paternalistic ideals, part playful portrait of the romantic travails of China’s trailblazing women, Roseann Lake’s Title TK employs colorful anecdotes, hundreds of interviews, and rigorous historical and demographic research to show how “leftovers” are the ultimate linchpin to China’s future.

“As a Chinese woman, I can feel and hear Chinese women's minds and voices radiating through Roseann Lake's book, Leftovers. It conveys a powerful message that encapsulates and epitomizes today's rapidly changing China.”—Xinran, British-Chinese writer whose books have been translated into 30 languages.

Norton, World; Beijing Standway Books Co., Ltd., China