Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present (China trilogy #2)
From the acclaimed author of River Town comes a rare portrait, both intimate and epic, of twenty-first-century China as it opens its doors to the outside world.
A century ago, outsiders saw China as a place where nothing ever changes. Today the coun-try has become one of the most dynamic regions on earth. That sense of time—the contrast between past and present, and the...more
I think when I started the book I was comparing it to “Eat, Pray, Love” because both are non-fiction works about living abroad. Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey around the world is a sort of outward ma ...more
This is a beautiful, surprising, and stunningly good book -- much richer than one could imagine. For anyone interested in the context and texture of modern China, this is a must read.
One day, around 10 years ago, I met this fellow out of our "Media and communication" department and I told him that he should have tried doing some internship in order to get the 5 credits he missed before getting his degree.
I remember how he originally wanted to take part to some sort of seminar on semiotics or something and I insisted that it was a waste of time. ...more
Hessler went to China in 1996 as a Peace Corps volunteer to teach English. And he stayed, becoming a newspaper reporter, then magazine writer, and now a non-fiction author. Hessler recently published the introductory and concluding articles in the National Geographic Special Editi ...more
If you overlook this clipped-together feel, the book is very informative, maybe even too detailed (the author obviously had tonnes of notes to work with). It gives you insights into bits and pieces of China's ancient histor ...more
I bought this book during my first trip to China.
One sentence convinced me to buy it, and it plainly described the landscapes I witnessed through the window of the Hong Kong- Beijing train: "a peasant, a field, a road, a village".
Add "appartment complexes" to that, and that was it: the author saw the China I saw, and offered his interpretation. Exactly what I needed during this trip of discovery!
How wrong I was ...more
Hessler journeys between China's past and present through the parallel stories of oracle bones (pieces of bone used in royal divination and some of the first chinese writings in history),3 the students he once taught in his english class in China and other Chinese people he meets along the way. It is very interesting to follow the lives of his 3 students and the hardships they face as young migrant workers i ...more
The author was an English teacher in China in the Peace Corps, and then became a journalist based in Beijing. This book describes his experiences in China from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, focusing mostly on people and personalities, but also on the wealth of artifacts discovered in China during the last 100 years. These archaeological finds shed new light on the vast expanse of Chinese history, and al ...more
I would definitely suggest th ...more