Reading About China

Top 10 Reading About China : The Good Earth, Watering Heaven, Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China, The Golden Days, Rickshaw Boy, The Selected Poems, Selected Stories, Diary of a Madman and Other Stories, The Death of Woman Wang, Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao's China

The Good Earth
AuthorPearl S. Buck
ISBN1416500189
This tells the poignant tale of a Chinese farmer and his family in old agrarian China. The humble Wang Lung glories in the soil he works, nurturing the land as it nurtures him and his family. Nearby, the nobles of the House of Hwang consider themselves above the land and its workers; but they will soon meet...
Watering Heaven
AuthorPeter Tieryas
What would you do if you found out your girlfriend laid an egg every time she had sex? Who would you be if you were invited to a party in Beijing but had to make up a brand-new identity for six weeks?

Peter Tieryas Liu's Watering Heaven is a travelogue of and requiem for the American dream in all its...
Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China
AuthorTom Carter
ISBN9881616409
Unsavory Elements is an unprecedented anthology of 28 new, original, true stories from some of the most celebrated foreign writers that have lived in modern China. Westerners are flocking to China in increasing numbers to chase their dreams even as Chinese emigrants seek their own dreams abroad,...
The Golden Days
AuthorXueqin Cao
ISBN0140442936
"The Story of the Stone" (c. 1760) is one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature. The first part of the story, The Golden Days, begins the tale of Bao-yu, a gentle young boy who prefers girls to Confucian studies, and his two cousins: Bao-chai, his parents' choice of a wife for him, and the ethereal...
AuthorLao She
ISBN0061436925
A beautiful new translation of beloved Chinese author Lao She's masterpiece of social realism, about the misadventures of a poor Beijing rickshaw driver

First published in China in 1937, Rickshaw Boy is the story of Xiangzi, an honest and serious country boy who works as a rickshaw puller...
AuthorLi Bai
ISBN0856462918
I return to Li Po often. He is as important to me as anyone in my literary pantheon. I haven't done the comparative research to determine which translation is best, but I've yet to be disappointed when I've cracked a Li Po collection.

really, the following is all you need to know:

Alone...
AuthorXun Lu
ISBN0393008487
"When I was young I, too, had many dreams. Most of them came to be forgotten, but I see nothing in this to regret. For although recalling the past may make you happy, it may sometimes also make you lonely, and there is no point in clinging in spirit to lonely bygone days. However, my trouble is that I cannot...
AuthorXun Lu
ISBN0824813170
This collection of short stories by Lu Xun, commonly considered one of the greatest writers in 20th-century China and often referred to as the father of modern Chinese literature, includes the celebrated short story, "A Madman's Diary". This short story is considered to be one of the first and most...
The Death of Woman Wang
AuthorJonathan D. Spence
Drawing on local Chinese histories, the memoirs of scholars, and other contemporary writings, Chinese historian Jonathan Spence reconstructs an extraordinary tale of rural tragedy in a remote corner of Shantung province in 17th-century China. Life in the county of T'an-ch'eng emerges as an endless...
AuthorJames Palmer
When an earthquake of historic magnitude leveled the industrial city of Tangshan in the summer of 1976, killing more than a half-million people, China was already gripped by widespread social unrest. As Mao lay on his deathbed, the public mourned the death of popular premier Zhou Enlai. Anger toward...
China: Portrait of a People
AuthorTom Carter
ISBN9889979942
From the subtropical jungles of Yunnan to the frozen wastes of Heilongjiang; across the scalding deserts of Xinjiang and beneath Hong Kong's neon blur. Tramping through China by train, bus, boat, motorcycle, mule or hitching on the back of anything that moved. On a budget so scant that he drew sympathetic...
Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory
AuthorPeter Hessler
ISBN0061804096
From the bestselling author of Oracle Bones and River Town comes the final book in his award-winning trilogy, on the human side of the economic revolution in China. In the summer of 2001, Peter Hessler, the longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, acquired his Chinese driver's license. For...
China Underground
AuthorZachary Mexico
ISBN1593762232
China is often in the news, but our knowledge of this massive country is cursory at best. Carefully controlled by the Chinese government, little escapes the scrutiny of those who monitor the media. With such a large land mass, a mix of cultures, and one of the world's oldest civilizations, it's surprisingly...
Six Records of a Floating Life
AuthorShen Fu
ISBN0140444297
Six Records of a Floating Life (1809) is an extraordinary blend of autobiography, love story and social document written by a man who was educated as a scholar but earned his living as a civil servant and art dealer. In this intimate memoir, Shen Fu recounts the domestic and romantic joys of his marriage...
Beijing Coma
AuthorMa Jian
ISBN0374110174
At once a powerful allegory of a rising China, racked by contradictions, and a seminal examination of the Tiananmen Square protests, Beijing Coma is Ma Jian’s masterpiece. Spiked with dark wit, poetic beauty, and deep rage, this extraordinary novel confirms his place as one of the world’s most...
Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China
AuthorPaul French
ISBN0143121006
Peking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner's body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now...
I Have Seen the World Begin: Travels through China, Cambodia, and Vietnam
AuthorCarsten Jensen
ISBN0151007683
When Carsten Jensen set out by train from Denmark on a journey to the East, he expected to find lands of rich history and culture, and people undergoing radical change at the end of the twentieth century. In this illuminating narrative of his travels, there is this and much, much more.

Fusing...
Her Father's Daughter
AuthorAlice Pung
ISBN1863955429
At twenty-something, Alice is eager for the milestones of adulthood: leaving home, choosing a career, finding friendship and love on her own terms. But with each step she takes she feels the sharp tug of invisible threads: the love and worry of her parents, who want more than anything to keep her from...
AuthorEileen Chang
ISBN1590171780
Eileen Chang is one of the great writers of twentieth-century China, where she enjoys a passionate following both on the mainland and in Taiwan. At the heart of Chang's achievement is her short fiction—tales of love, longing, and the shifting and endlessly treacherous shoals of family life. Written...
AuthorGene Luen Yang
ISBN1596433590
China, 1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants.

Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers--commoners trained in kung fu--who fight to free China from "foreign...
Miss Chopsticks
AuthorXinran
ISBN0701180420
Xinran takes her readers to the heart of modern Chinese society in this delightful and absorbing tale of three peasant girls getting to grips with life in the big city.

The Li sisters don’t have much education, but one thing has been drummed into them: their mother is a failure because she hasn’t...
Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now
AuthorJan Wong
ISBN0385482329
Jan Wong, a Canadian of Chinese descent, went to China as a starry-eyed Maoist in 1972 at the height of the Cultural Revolution. A true believer--and one of only two Westerners permitted to enroll at Beijing University--her education included wielding a pneumatic drill at the Number One Machine Tool...
AuthorJen Lin-Liu
ISBN0151012911
A memorable and mouthwatering cook’s tour of today’s China

As a freelance journalist and food writer living in Beijing, Jen Lin-Liu already had a ringside seat for China’s exploding food scene. When she decided to enroll in a local cooking school—held in an unheated classroom with...
Chronicle of a Blood Merchant
AuthorYu Hua
ISBN1400031850
One of the last decade's ten most influential books in China, this internationally acclaimed novel by one of the mainland's most important contemporary writers provides an unflinching portrait of life under Chairman Mao.

A cart-pusher in a silk mill, Xu Sanguan augments his meager salary...
AuthorHa Jin
ISBN0307378683
In his first book of stories since The Bridegroom was published in 2000 ("Finely wrought . . . Every story here is cut like a stone."—Chicago Sun-Times), National Book Award–winning Ha Jin gives us a collection that delves into the experience of Chinese immigrants in America.
 
With the...
AuthorMichael Meyer
ISBN0802716520
A fascinating, intimate portrait of Beijing through the lens of its oldest neighborhood, facing destruction as the city, and China, relentlessly modernizes.

Soon we will be able to say about old Beijing that what emperors, warlords, Japanese invaders, and Communist planners couldn’t...
Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China
AuthorJohn Pomfret
ISBN0805076158
As one the first American students admitted to China after the communist revolution, John Pomfret was exposed to a country still emerging from the twin tragedies of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Crammed into a dorm room with seven Chinese men, Pomfret contended with all manner...
AuthorKang Zhengguo
ISBN0393064670
With clear vision this intimate memoir draws us into the intersections of everyday life and Communist power from the first days of "Liberation" in 1949 through the Tiananmen Square protests and after. The son of a professional family, Kang Zhengguo is a free spirit, drawn to literature. In Mao's China,...
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