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In the heart of China’s Sichuan province, tucked away amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this vast and ever-evolving country, Fuling is shifting gears and heading down a new path, one of change and vitality, tension and reform, disruption and growth.
Its position at the crossroads came into sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the ways of Fuling—and about the complex process of understanding that takes place when one is immersed in a radically different society.
Poignant, thoughtful, funny, and enormously compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a city that, much like China itself, is seeking to understand both what it was and what it someday will be.
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 Chinaas 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 rhythms that emerge in a vast, ever-evolving country—is brilliantly illuminated by Peter Hessler in Oracle Bones, a book that explores the human side of China’s transformation.
Hessler tells the story of modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world as seen through the lives of a handful of ordinary people. In addition to the author, an American writer living in Beijing, the narrative follows Polat, a member…[more]