103rd out of 120 books — 19 voters
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San Francisco may just be everyone's favorite city. Living here for nearly 24 years you quickly learn that The City (Herb Caen fan) is less about it's history and more about it's future. The City changes all the time. This historical travel narrative charms not only with its prose but insights into mid-20th century San Francisco with an eye toward how the white city on the 7 hills was built by its forefathers. As the artist-author Chiang Yee/Yee Chaing shares his journey in and around the City ...more
Re-reading this classic and unique book by Chiang Yee, a native of China who has travelled the world, taught at universities in England and U.S., and written several books including his series of "THe SIlent Traveller" in which he provides a set of 'far east' eyes to look at places like San Francisco, Boston, England, that are refreshing and inventive. He is a calligrapher and painter and his books are a visual treat.
This is the first Silent Traveller book I encountered. I started browsing it in a used book store and couldn't leave it there. His description of Mt. Diablo outside SF is sooooo much the way I first saw it on visiting relatives there in the 1950s/60s that I felt like the guy is a soulmate. His description of the Beats is priceless.
Chiang Yee (simplified Chinese: 蒋彝; traditional Chinese: 蔣彝, Pinyin: Jiǎng Yí, Wade–Giles: Chiang Yee) (19 May 1903 – 26 October 1977), self-styled as "The Silent Traveller", was a Chinese poet, author, painter and calligrapher...More about Yee Chiang...