"The Adventures of Mary Qian"
The Adventures of Mary Qian tells a story of the rise and fall of Mary Qian, who joined the fashion magazine Perfect Life right after graduation. Like the majority of the fresh graduates in China, she has been going through a number of challenges, with her attitude towards money changed from doubt, then detestation, to desire. Mixing a sharp sense of humor with everyday life observations, the author tries to dissect an era of China when “money itches”.
Mary Qian had recently graduated from the university after she studied in the Department of Economics and Management for six years. She didn’t want to go to some boring business firms. Instead, she hoped to join a fashion magazine called Perfect Life. Though the job she applied for was irrelevant to what she had learned at school, the magazine recruited her without breathing a word against it.
Gradually, Mary got to know her boss who insisted on using only 20 percent of the staff intellectual capabilities; the editor-in-chief who tried to deal with everything with "grace and dignity"; the HR manager who would reveal to her the crafts of Machiavellism from time to time, and the colleagues whose pockets were deluged with hundreds of name cards illustrating the different titles ...
Qian took photographs and interviewed celebrities. Being a green hand at the job, she was standing in the forefront of this gorgeous world and living a life of extravagance that her income could barely afford. During the three years she worked there, she witnessed the Perfect Life being a joint venture, having its capital increased, purchased and reconstructed. She also fought for her pay raise, was given important positions, moonlighted, loved and was loved, made a fortune, resigned, came back and resigned again. Finally, she realized what money she learned from her college major was supposed to mean in China and what on earth it meant in her own life.