Paperback: Chinese Whispers, by Hsiao-Hung Pai

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The Independent Culture

From a brothel in Cheam to a lettuce farm in Sussex and Soho kitchens, this brave and gripping book documents the harsh lives of the army of undocumented Chinese workers in the UK. Undercover reportage at its best, and bravest, Chinese Whispers lifts the lid – with scrupulous research – on a secret hell of fear and toil. Everywhere she goes, Hsiao-Hung Pai finds that illegality itself multiplies the misery. Gangs attack "massage" joints with impunity, waiters earn far below the minimum wage, invisible labourers fall sick in dodgy factories. And Britain still spurns the UN convention that aims to protect all migrant workers.

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