China


Jul 30 2010

The Official Planning Stage: Shanghia via Kathmandu via Delhi

Published by under News

It’s official. On December 23rd, at roughly 3:30am Indian Standard Time,  I will be landing in Delhi.

Starting on the 21st of December, just one day after exams, I’ll make my way to New York City to board a flight destined for Delhi, India (by way of Doha, Qatar). After spending two days there, I’ll take the bumpy hour-long flight to Kathmandu, Nepal. There, two days of temples, ancient Gods and Goddesses, and hopefully a Sherpa or two await (these are, of course, just my wildest fantasies of Nepal, which I’m sure are also wildly inaccurate, but I have some time to find out what to expect). From there, I’ll head back to Delhi for two packed days, dedicating an entire one to Agra and the Taj Mahal. Then I’ll be off to Shanghai, spending eight days wandering the glorious city, just winding down from the Shanghai Expo, before catching a flight back to my reality, Boston, Massachusetts. Continue Reading »

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Nov 13 2009

We asked J. Maarten Troost

Published by under Book Reviews,Travel

Sex Lives fo Cannibals - by J. Maarten Proost

The Sex Lives of Cannibals - by J. Maarten Proost

J. Maarten Troost  has been Lost on Planet China, caught Getting Stoned with Savages and adrift in sea of The Sex Lives of Cannibals. Although he isn’t presently floating on a raft off a remote island in the South Pacific, it took some sleuthing to find him. When we did track him down, he was nice enough to respond to some of our questions.

1) Do you prefer aisle or window? (Please explain.)

Window, which is kind of odd because flying is essentially one long cardiac event for me. I do not like to fly. It is what it is and I try to live with it. But whenever I find myself looking down upon Afghanistan or Iran or the Kamchatka Peninsula I find that I feel all warm and fuzzy inside, unless there’s turbulence, in which case I whimper and sway as I try to find my special place.

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May 22 2009

Fast Times at China High

Published by under Book Reviews,News

Lonely Planet China

Lonely Planet China

When you come into the store, it is impossible not to notice all the books about China. They come in every shade of red possible, in all sizes and weights – including the hefty new edition of the Lonely Planet China. Saying that they are everywhere would be a slight exaggeration, but they have taken over four shelves of one of our bookcases. They have very intriguing titles. (Don’t you want to know how to cook a dragon, or what on earth The Corpse Walker is about?) After looking at all those books for a while your resistance is eventually undermined – your curiosity is piqued – and this is when you give in and pick one up.

I still can’t tell exactly why I picked up China High. Maybe it was just the right shade of red. Or maybe because the author is easy to relate to and gives a very good look at China – a place that is not so easy to understand. This book turned out to be about his own astonishing personal changes following his experiences in China.

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Mar 10 2009

Hidden Treasures – Our Graphic Crush on Guy Delisle

Published by under Book Reviews

The Burma Chronicles--by Guy Delisle

The Burma Chronicles--by Guy Delisle

Having recently traded in the lush madness of Southeast Asia for the prim, snow-covered streets of Cambridge, I’ve been spending a lot of time in our Asia section–perusing the shelves for books and pictures chronicling others’ adventures through the region, gazing fondly at the photos of Wats and markets I’ve been to, and just generally daydreaming about lychee-flavored ice cream on hot green afternoons.

Recently, while lost in one of my Asian fantasies, I came across The Burma Chronicles, a bamboo-green covered book with a cartoon of the author pushing a stroller past two glaring soldiers with machine guns.  Naturally, I was intrigued. Continue Reading »

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Jan 30 2009

The Pearl Jacket and Other Stories, Flash Fiction

Published by under Book Reviews

The Pearl Jacket -edited and translated by Shouhua Qi

The Pearl Jacket -ed. & trans. by Shouhua Qi

A young journalist befriends an older gentleman and his bird in “Comedy of Birds.” When the old man has been talked into freeing his favorite bird by the Old Men Bird Club that he belongs to, he bemoans the day. When it arrives, the young man comes along, envisioning a feature story. As everyone’s bird takes flight the old man’s bird drops dead from the sky. The journalist sees his story fly away.

The Pearl Jacket and Other Stories is full of short-shorts with this biting irony or crisp, cruel social criticism. However, it also shares with the readers moments of calm, tenderness, and even humor. Every story in the book can be categorized as “flash fiction,” a style popular both in China and in the US. This book’s short-shorts are about 1000 words or less. Stories this short offer the reader a juicy mouthful of one emotion, idea, or atmosphere of a time.

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Nov 06 2008

Chinese Literature

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Globe Corner Bookstore’s Shortlist of Chinese Literature

This list contains literature by both Chinese authors and by Westerners living in China. Its mix of history, modernity, humor, and gravity reflects the contradictions in present-day Chinese life that so many of these books explore.

. . .

Beijing Coma
by Ma Jian
Ma Jian’s new novel is a powerful allegory of a rising China and is racked by contradictions. It’s also a seminal examination of the Tiananmen Square protests.

. . .

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze
by Peter Hessler
Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the ways of the town–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.

. . .

Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China
by Peter Hessler
Today China 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 Hessler in Oracle Bones, a book that explores the human side of China’s transformation.

. . .

I Love Dollars and Other Stories China
by Zhu Wen
I Love Dollars is a hilarious send-up of China’s love affair with capitalism by one of its most gifted new writers. Here, gleefully exposed, are the inanities of everyday life in contemporary China.

. . .

Last Days of Old Beijing
by Michael Meyer
Weaving historical vignettes of Beijing and China over a thousand years through his narrative, Meyer captures the city’s deep past as he illuminates its present. The Last Days of Old Beijing brings this moment and the ebb and flow of daily lives on the other side of the planet into shining focus.

. . .

Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China
by Jen Lin-Liu
Lin-Liu gives a memorable and mouthwatering cook’s tour of today’s China as she progresses from cooking student to noodle-stall and dumpling-house apprentice to intern at a chic Shanghai restaurant.

. . .

Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food
by Jennifer 8 Lee
In a compelling blend of sociology and history, Jenny Lee exposes the indentured servitude Chinese restaurants expect from illegal immigrant chefs, investigates the relationship between Jews and Chinese food, and weaves a personal narrative about her own relationship with Chinese food.

. . .

China Road: A Journey Into the Future of a Rising Power
by Rob Gifford
An acclaimed National Public Radio reporter Rob Gifford takes the dramatic journey along Route 312 from its start in the boomtown of Shanghai to its end on the border with Kazakhstan. Gifford reveals the rich mosaic of modern Chinese life in all its contradictions, as he poses crucial questions that all of us are asking about China.

. . .

Empress Orchid
by Anchee Min
From a master of the historical novel, Empress Orchid sweeps readers into the splendid heart of the Forbidden City to tell the fascinating story of a young Chinese concubine who becomes China’s last empress.

. . .

The Last Empress
by Anchee Min
In this volume concluding Empress Orchid, Min gives us a compelling, very human leader who assumed power reluctantly and sacrificed all to protect those she loved and an empire that was doomed to die.

. . .
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