"How to marry a Western woman? How to marry a Western man?" -- those are questions two writers, Karl Lacroix from Canada and David Marriott from Britain, attempt to answer in their new books.
The books, written mainly for Chinese women and men, are both divided into five parts: first, how to get to know a Westerner; second, what happens when the relationship goes further -- meaning sex; third, how to bring him/her home if everything goes well; fourth, marriage! Last but not least, how to keep your Western husband/wife.
The writers give relevant suggestions, some in great detail. For example, in the book How to Marry a Western Man, it says that whether or not the man loves China also provides clues as to whether life in China is suitable for him. Things to look out for: does he buy a return ticket when he goes abroad and does he read the China Daily.
David Marriott came to China four years ago. "I have seen more and more Western people come here. I also saw ever more international love stories among my friends and colleagues," he said.
"I also knew lots of people wanting to experience multi-cultural love. It's not a bad thing at all."
The books were finished in only four months because many concepts had been stored in their minds already. "We interviewed many people in advance and they told us many secrets," Marriott said.
"Love affairs always need a little help and international love stories needs even more help. This was my aim in writing this book," Lacroix said.
The writers found when Chinese dated Westerners, they encountered lots of surprise and problems and didn't know how to deal with them.
The book tries to help Chinese understand how Westerners think about society and people.
"We want to give Chinese women and men some knowledge to protect themselves after the first smile. Tell them how to judge whether he/she will love you or hurt you," the writer said.
"It has not been very difficult publishing these two books, even though they sound a little sensitive," Lacroix said. He said the publisher censored very few paragraphs.
The writers hope the book will not only appeal to young people, but to all ages. On October 2, when signing copies in the Shanghai Book City on Fuzhou Road, they were happy to see not only young people eager for a romantic international love story, but also a far wider range of readers.
The eldest, to their surprise, was a man aged over 60. "Later I know he bought the book just to collect the signatures of foreign writers," Lacroix said.
The sales of the book in the first few weeks have been satisfactory. The two writers also plan to write a series of similar books such as how to date Western people, which will provide some knowledge about cross-cultural socializing. Another plan taking shape is to write about international love stories. This will be published next year, according to the writers.
(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2003)