"These are good stories told to maximum theoretical effect. Chao writes clearly and fluently, with the result that her stories are page-turners and her sophisticated theoretical points are easily comprehensible."
-Stevan Harrell, author of Ways of Being Ethnic in Southwest China
"Lijiang Stories is much more than a set of stories. It is a careful exegesis of the many strands that, woven together, have become today's Lijiang. The accessible prose and fascinating range of skillfully analyzed, ethnographically nuanced "stories would make this an excellent text for courses on contemporary China."
"Chao's ethnographic approach digs beneath the surface to uncover the underlying power of state and capital and to illustrate everyday life as an outcome of conflicts and compromises between individuals and structural forces. . . . Chao presents a living picture of Lijiang in which individuals are brought into the orbit of development driven by state and private investors."
- Xiaobo Su, China Journal
"Though not a typical ethnography, Lijiang Stories is informed by a good deal of ethnographic research. Chao's interpretations of her stories illuminate the shifting meanings of ethnicity, gender, class and national identity in an era of profound social change. . . . Lijiang Stories is a valuable addition to the growing scholarship on Chinese minorities in the post-socialist era."
-Susan K. McCarthy, Pacific Affairs