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A New York Times Notable Book
Winner of the Kiriyama Book Prize
In the heart of China's Sichuan province, amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this ever-evolving country, Fuling is heading down a new path of change and growth, which came into remarkably 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 complex processes of understanding that take 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 is seeking to understand both what it was and what it someday will be.
A century ago, outsiders saw China as a place where nothing ever changes. Today the country has become one of the most dynamic regions on earth. In Oracle Bones, Peter Hessler explores the human side of China's transformation, viewing modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world through the lives of a handful of ordinary people. In a narrative that gracefully moves between the ancient and the present, the East and the West, Hessler captures the soul of a country that is undergoing a momentous change before our eyes.
“Hessler has a marvelous sense of the intonations and gestures that give life to the moment.” —The New York Times Book Review
From Peter Hessler, the New York Times bestselling author of Oracle Bones and River Town, comes Country Driving, the third and final book in his award-winning China trilogy. Country Driving addresses the human side of the economic revolution in China, focusing on economics and development, and shows how the auto boom helps China shift from rural to urban, from farming to business.
Full of unforgettable figures and an unrelenting spirit of adventure, Strange Stones is a far-ranging, thought-provoking collection of Peter Hessler’s best reportage—a dazzling display of the powerful storytelling, shrewd cultural insight, and warm sense of humor that are the trademarks of his work.
Over the last decade, as a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three books, Peter Hessler has lived in Asia and the United States, writing as both native and knowledgeable outsider in these two very different regions. This unusual perspective distinguishes Strange Stones, which showcases Hessler’s unmatched range as a storyteller. “Wild Flavor” invites readers along on a taste test between two rat restaurants in South China. One story profiles Yao Ming, basketball star and China’s most beloved export, another David Spindler, an obsessive and passionate historian of the Great Wall. In “Dr. Don,” Hessler writes movingly about a small-town pharmacist and his relationship with the people he serves.
While Hessler’s subjects and locations vary, subtle but deeply important thematic links bind these pieces—the strength of local traditions, the surprising overlap between apparently opposing cultures, and the powerful lessons drawn from individuals who straddle different worlds.
"Extraordinary...Sensitive and perceptive, Mr. Hessler is a superb literary archaeologist, one who handles what he sees with a bit of wonder that he gets to watch the history of this grand city unfold, one day at a time.” —Wall Street Journal
From the acclaimed author of River Town and Oracle Bones, an intimate excavation of life in one of the world's oldest civilizations at a time of convulsive change
Drawn by a fascination with Egypt's rich history and culture, Peter Hessler moved with his wife and twin daughters to Cairo in 2011. He wanted to learn Arabic, explore Cairo's neighborhoods, and visit the legendary archaeological digs of Upper Egypt. After his years of covering China for The New Yorker, friends warned him Egypt would be a much quieter place. But not long before he arrived, the Egyptian Arab Spring had begun, and now the country was in chaos.
In the midst of the revolution, Hessler often traveled to digs at Amarna and Abydos, where locals live beside the tombs of kings and courtiers, a landscape that they call simply al-Madfuna: "the Buried." He and his wife set out to master Arabic, striking up a friendship with their instructor, a cynical political sophisticate. They also befriended Peter's translator, a gay man struggling to find happiness in Egypt's homophobic culture. A different kind of friendship was formed with the neighborhood garbage collector, an illiterate but highly perceptive man named Sayyid, whose access to the trash of Cairo would be its own kind of archaeological excavation. Hessler also met a family of Chinese small-business owners in the lingerie trade; their view of the country proved a bracing counterpoint to the West's conventional wisdom.
Through the lives of these and other ordinary people in a time of tragedy and heartache, and through connections between contemporary Egypt and its ancient past, Hessler creates an astonishing portrait of a country and its people. What emerges is a book of uncompromising intelligence and humanity--the story of a land in which a weak state has collapsed but its underlying society remains in many ways painfully the same. A worthy successor to works like Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon and Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines, The Buried bids fair to be recognized as one of the great books of our time.
Hautnah erlebt der Journalist und Auslandskorrespondent Peter Hessler in China die Dekade der großen Reformen: den wirtschaftlichen, gesellschaftlichen und kulturellen Umbruch, die millionenfache Migration vom Land in die neuen Megacities an den Küsten, die Zersetzung einer Kultur, die von uralten Traditionen geprägt ist. Hessler erzählt das Geschehen aus der Perspektive der Betroffenen. Selbst die zeitgeschichtlichen Ereignisse, über die er als Korrespondent berichtet, beleuchtet er aus der Sicht einfacher Leute. Er lebt in einer kleinen Mietwohnung in den Gassen eines alten Pekinger hutong-Viertels, und von hier unternimmt er seine Reisen durch das Reich der Mitte, erlebt kulturelle Barrieren, historische Empfindlichkeiten und menschliche Schicksale. Der Wechsel von Themen, Geschichten und Erzählebenen macht Hessler's Buch so spannend: Der Leser beginnt, China als Ganzes mit seinen unterschiedlichsten Facetten zu erleben - und zu verstehen. In den literarischen Bericht seines Reporterlebens, seiner Begegnungen und seiner Reisen mischt Hessler auch seine Exkursionen in die reiche chinesische Geschichte. Manche Episode bleibt am Ende so rätselhaft wie die Weissagungen und Prophezeiungen der Orakelknochen, der ältesten Funde chinesischer Schriftzeichen, die in Knochen oder Schildkrötenpanzer graviert wurden.
Dieses E-Book basiert auf folgender Printausgabe: 1. Auflage 2014