I Stand Corrected

How Teaching Western Manners in China Became Its Own Unforgettable Lesson


A fascinating fusion of memoir, manners, and cultural history from a successful businesswoman well versed in the unique challenges of working in contemporary China.

During the course of a career that has, quite literarily, moved her around the world, no country has fascinated Eden Collinsworth more than China, where she has borne witness to its profound transformation. After numerous experiences there that might best be called "unusual" by Western standards, she concluded that despite China's growing status as a world economy, businessmen in mainland China were fundamentally uncomfortable in the company of their Western counterparts. This realization spawned an idea to work collaboratively with a major Chinese publisher on a Western etiquette guide, which went on to became a bestseller and prompted a branch of China's Ministry of Education to suggest that she create a curriculum for the school system. In I Stand Corrected, Collinsworth tells the entertaining and insightful story of the year she spent living among the Chinese while writing a book featuring advice on such topics as the non-negotiable issue of personal hygiene, the rules of the handshake, and making sense of foreigners. Scrutinizing the kind of etiquette that has guided her own business career, one which has unfolded in predominately male company, Collinsworth creates a counterpart that explains Chinese practices and reveals much about our own Western culture. At the same time, I Stand Corrected is a wry but self-effacing reflection on the peripatetic career she led while single-handedly raising her son, and here she details the often madcap attempts to strike a balance that was right for them both.
  • Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; October 2014
  • ISBN 9780385538701
  • Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
  • Title: I Stand Corrected
  • Author: Eden Collinsworth
  • Imprint: Anchor

In The Press

"It's a heck of a story ... entertaining, informative and insightful." The New York Times

"If Eden Collinsworth weren’t so good a writer, she’d do well with her own reality TV show. She has a fearless, go-anywhere, do-almost-anything attitude that — combined with her intelligence and keen observational powers — makes for exceptional storytelling." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Collinsworth is subtly generous with some details and tantalizingly private with others, but it’s all wonderful. She also analyzes what’s going on in China now, financially and socially, how it came about, and what might be the consequences. A traveler of the world, often with her multilingual son, Collinsworth waxes intelligently and humorously about other cultures ... A rare, true gift." Booklist, starred review

"Collinsworth's observations bring the Chinese and their rituals and history to life ... Entertaining, informative adventures of a woman determined to understand the people of China." Kirkus Reviews

"An entertaining take on life as a foreigner in China." Publishers Weekly

"I Stand Corrected is both hilarious and insightful. Collinsworth’s adventures in China make for a compulsive page-turner, full of eye-popping anecdotes. This is a must read for anyone seeking an insider’s view into the rising power of the East." —Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War and Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

"I Stand Corrected has many interesting, even important, things to say about commerce and manners in China, but the book's real pleasure is Eden Collinsworth's company. Her mind is lucid and original, and she's very funny." —Alec Wilkinson, author of The Ice Balloon

"Eden Collinsworth’s I Stand Corrected is truly an original: enlightening, enthralling, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. Her revealing and profoundly interesting insight into Chinese culture must be the first of its kind. With great beauty, subtlety, and grace she touches on the deeply personal amid all her heady, whirlwind adventures, shedding light on universal truths common to any mother, any traveler. I envy Collinsworth’s life of exploration, her fearlessness, and couldn’t be more pleased to have her carry me along for the ride." —Blythe Danner

"When China—a sleeping dragon—woke some thirty years ago, most Westerners listened to its sounds from afar. There are very few like Eden Collinsworth who have actually known China, who have seen its transformation firsthand. With her wonderful book I Stand Corrected, she uses her knowledge and experience to build a bridge for readers to cross the river between cultures." —Xinran, author of China Witness, Sky Burial, and The Good Women of China

"Eden Collinsworth's adventures on her way to writing a best-selling manual of Western deportment for the Chinese are enchanting. Memoir, travel book, social history, it's also about single motherhood, love, career building, and looking for happiness. I Stand Corrected is an original, fearless, and funny book that you read for its laughs as well as its lessons." —Joan Juliet Buck

About The Author

EDEN COLLINSWORTH is a former media executive and business consultant. She launched the Los Angeles-based monthly lifestyle magazine, Buzz, after which she became VP & director of cross media business development at Hearst Corporation. In 2011 she launched Collinsworth & Associates, a Beijing-based consulting company, which specializes in intercultural communication. Her Chinese language book The Tao of Improving Your Likeability: A Personal Guide to Effective Business Etiquette in Today's Global World has become a major best seller in mainland China.