China’s great wave of nostalgia | The New Yorker.com


A powerful wave of nostalgia is sweeping the generation of Chinese born between 1980 and 1989, known in China as baling hou, or “post-eighties.” This piece I wrote for The New Yorker.com details evidence I found of the epidemic in several cities. It also explores how research on nostalgia’s psychological function may explain why the bittersweet sentiment has China’s post-eighties cohort so firmly within its thrall. The article is drawn from reporting for my forthcoming book on nostalgia and the role it plays in shaping our identity.