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.
An absorbing, original, and ambitious work of reportage from the acclaimed New Yorker correspondent During the past decade, Peter Hessler has persistently illuminated worlds both foreign and familiar—ranging from China, where he served as The New Yorker's correspondent from 2000 to 2007, to southwestern Colorado, where he lived for four years. Strange Stones is an engaging, thought-provoking collection of Hessler's best pieces, showcasing his range as a storyteller and his gift for writing as both native and knowledgeable outsider. From a taste test between two rat restaurants in South China to a profile of Yao Ming to the moving story of a small-town pharmacist, these pieces are bound by subtle but meaningful ideas: the strength of local traditions, the surprising overlap between cultures, and the powerful lessons drawn from individuals who straddle different worlds. Full of unforgettable figures and an unrelenting spirit of adventure, Strange Stones is a dazzling display of the powerful storytelling, shrewd cultural insight, and warm sense of humor that are the trademarks of Peter Hessler's work.
Author: Peter Hessler
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2013-12-19
When Peter Hessler went to China in the late 1990s, he expected to spend a couple of peaceful years teaching English in the town of Fuling on the Yangtze River. But what he experienced - the natural beauty, cultural tension, and complex process of understanding that takes place when one is thrust into a radically different society - surpassed anything he could have imagined. Hessler observes firsthand how major events such as the death of Deng Xiaoping, the return of Hong Kong to the mainland, and the controversial consturction of the Three Gorges Dam have affected even the people of a remote town like Fuling. Poignant, thoughtful and utterly compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a place caught mid-river in time, much like China itself - a country seeking to understand both what it was and what it will one day become.
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.
Author: Michael Herr
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 2014-12-15
With an introduction by Kevin Powers A groundbreaking piece of journalism which inspired Stanley Kubrick's classic Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket. We took space back quickly, expensively, with total panic and close to maximum brutality. Our machine was devastating. And versatile. It could do everything but stop. Michael Herr went to Vietnam as a war correspondent for Esquire. He returned to tell the real story in all its hallucinatory madness and brutality, cutting to the quick of the conflict and its seductive, devastating impact on a generation of young men. His unflinching account is haunting in its violence, but even more so in its honesty. First published in 1977, Dispatches was a revolutionary piece of new journalism that evoked the experiences of soldiers in Vietnam and has forever shaped our understanding of the conflict. It is now a seminal classic of war reportage.
In the summer of 2001, Peter Hessler, the long-time Beijing correspondent for the New Yorker, acquired his Chinese drivers licence. For the next seven years he travelled the country, tracking how the automobile and the improved transport system were transforming China. Hessler writes movingly of everyday people farmers, migrant workers and entrepreneurs who have reshaped the country during one of the most critical periods in its history. Country Driving illuminates the vast, shifting landscape of a traditionally rural nation that, having once built walls against outsiders, is building the roads and factory towns that will shape the twenty-first century.
Author: Michael Meyer
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2015-02-17
In the tradition of In Patagonia and Great Plains, Michael Meyer's In Manchuria is a scintillating combination of memoir, contemporary reporting, and historical research, presenting a unique profile of China's legendary northeast territory. For three years, Meyer rented a home in the rice-farming community of Wasteland, hometown to his wife's family. Their personal saga mirrors the tremendous change most of rural China is undergoing, in the form of a privately held rice company that has built new roads, introduced organic farming, and constructed high-rise apartments into which farmers can move in exchange for their land rights. Once a commune, Wasteland is now a company town, a phenomenon happening across China that Meyer documents for the first time; indeed, not since Pearl Buck wrote The Good Earth has anyone brought rural China to life as Meyer has here. Amplifying the story of family and Wasteland, Meyer takes us on a journey across Manchuria's past, a history that explains much about contemporary China--from the fall of the last emperor to Japanese occupation and Communist victory. Through vivid local characters, Meyer illuminates the remnants of the imperial Willow Palisade, Russian and Japanese colonial cities and railways, and the POW camp into which a young American sergeant parachuted to free survivors of the Bataan Death March. In Manchuria is a rich and original chronicle of contemporary China and its people.
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher A Fork in the Road: Tales of Food, Pleasure and Discovery on the Road 2014 James Beard Award Nominee and 2014 Society of Travel Writers Foundation Thomas Lowell Travel Journalism Bronze Award Winner for Travel Book Join us at the table for this 34-course banquet of original stories from food-obsessed writers and chefs sharing their life-changing food experiences. The dubious joy of a Twinkie, the hunger-sauced rhapsody of fish heads, the grand celebration of an Indian wedding feast; the things we eat and the people we eat with remain powerful signposts in our memories, long after the plates have been cleared. Tuck in, and bon appetit! Featuring tales from: James Oseland, Frances Mayes, Giles Coren, Curtis Stone, Annabel Langbein, Neil Perry, Tamasin Day-Lewis, Jay Rayner, Madhur Jaffrey, Michael Pollan, Josh Ozersky, Marcus Samuelsson, Naomi Duguid, Jane and Michael Stern, Francine Prose, Ma Thanegi, Kaui Hart Hemmings, Rita Mae Brown, Monique Truong, Fuschia Dunlop, David Kamp, Mas Masumoto, Daniel Vaughn, Tom Carson, Andre Aciman, MJ Hyland, Alan Richman, Beth Kracklauer, Sigrid Nunez, Chang Rae Lee, Julia Reed, Gael Greene About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, a suite of inspiring travel pictorials, literature, and references, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travelers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.
Author: Matt Taibbi
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Release Date: 2017-01-17
Genre: Political Science
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Dispatches from the 2016 election that provide an eerily prescient take on our democracy’s uncertain future, by the country’s most perceptive and fearless political journalist. In twenty-five pieces from Rolling Stone—plus two original essays—Matt Taibbi tells the story of Western civilization’s very own train wreck, from its tragicomic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion. Years before the clown car of candidates was fully loaded, Taibbi grasped the essential themes of the story: the power of spectacle over substance, or even truth; the absence of a shared reality; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism that would destroy what was left of the Kingian dream of a successful pluralistic society. Taibbi captures, with dead-on, real-time analysis, the failures of the right and the left, from the thwarted Bernie Sanders insurgency to the flawed and aimless Hillary Clinton campaign; the rise of the “dangerously bright” alt-right with its wall-loving identity politics and its rapturous view of the “Racial Holy War” to come; and the giant fail of a flailing, reactive political media that fed a ravenous news cycle not with reporting on political ideology, but with undigested propaganda served straight from the campaign bubble. At the center of it all stands Donald J. Trump, leading a historic revolt against his own party, “bloviating and farting his way” through the campaign, “saying outrageous things, acting like Hitler one minute and Andrew Dice Clay the next.” For Taibbi, the stunning rise of Trump marks the apotheosis of the new postfactual movement. Taibbi frames the reporting with original essays that explore the seismic shift in how we perceive our national institutions, the democratic process, and the future of the country. Insane Clown President is not just a postmortem on the collapse and failure of American democracy. It offers the riveting, surreal, unique, and essential experience of seeing the future in hindsight. Praise for Matt Taibbi “Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists in America who speaks truth to power.”—Senator Bernie Sanders
Author: Tony Horwitz
Release Date: 2010-08-18
National Bestseller For all who remain intrigued by the legacy of the Civil War -- reenactors, battlefield visitors, Confederate descendants and other Southerners, history fans, students of current racial conflicts, and more -- this ten-state adventure is part travelogue, part social commentary and always good-humored. “Splendid.” –Roy Blount, Jr., The New York Times Book Review When prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the Middle East for a peaceful corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he's put war zones behind him. But awakened one morning by the crackle of musket fire, Horwitz starts filing front-line dispatches again this time from a war close to home, and to his own heart. Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance. In Virginia, Horwitz joins a band of 'hardcore' reenactors who crash-diet to achieve the hollow-eyed look of starved Confederates; in Kentucky, he witnesses Klan rallies and calls for race war sparked by the killing of a white man who brandishes a rebel flag; at Andersonville, he finds that the prison's commander, executed as a war criminal, is now exalted as a martyr and hero; and in the book's climax, Horwitz takes a marathon trek from Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox in the company of Robert Lee Hodge, an eccentric pilgrim who dubs their odyssey the 'Civil Wargasm.' Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.
Jeff Greenwald's classic travelogue follows his quest for the "perfect" Buddha statue. At turns hilarious and moving, his quest features a cast of amazing characters — from a passionate palmist to a flying lama — who provide unforgettable glimpses into the daily life and culture of the former kingdom (including a wild ride on Kathmandu’s very first escalator). Greenwald doesn't shy away from Shangri-la’s darker side. Along with colorful descriptions of Hindu and Buddhist mythology, the book tells of the rampant corruption, art smuggling, assassination attempts and human right abuses that would ignite Nepal’s violent "People Power" Revolution in April 1990. A new afterword by the author recounts Nepal's tumultuous recent history — including the massacre of the royal family — in vivid detail. And a new preface introduces this 25th anniversary edition with some thoughts about how Nepal, and travel writing, have evolved since the book’s first publication. Shopping for Buddhas remains a must-read for anyone who has visited, or plans to visit, Nepal.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2013-04-05
Anthony C. Yu’s translation of The Journey to the West,initially published in 1983, introduced English-speaking audiences to the classic Chinese novel in its entirety for the first time. Written in the sixteenth century, The Journey to the West tells the story of the fourteen-year pilgrimage of the monk Xuanzang, one of China’s most famous religious heroes, and his three supernatural disciples, in search of Buddhist scriptures. Throughout his journey, Xuanzang fights demons who wish to eat him, communes with spirits, and traverses a land riddled with a multitude of obstacles, both real and fantastical. An adventure rich with danger and excitement, this seminal work of the Chinese literary canonis by turns allegory, satire, and fantasy. With over a hundred chapters written in both prose and poetry, The Journey to the West has always been a complicated and difficult text to render in English while preserving the lyricism of its language and the content of its plot. But Yu has successfully taken on the task, and in this new edition he has made his translations even more accurate and accessible. The explanatory notes are updated and augmented, and Yu has added new material to his introduction, based on his original research as well as on the newest literary criticism and scholarship on Chinese religious traditions. He has also modernized the transliterations included in each volume, using the now-standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization system. Perhaps most important, Yu has made changes to the translation itself in order to make it as precise as possible. One of the great works of Chinese literature, The Journey to the West is not only invaluable to scholars of Eastern religion and literature, but, in Yu’s elegant rendering, also a delight for any reader.
Author: Gish Jen
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2013-03-25
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
In three pieces originally delivered as special lectures, draws on the biography of the author's father as well as the evolution of her own work to contrast Western and Eastern ideas of self-narration and interdependency.