A Chinese TV show revisits The Last Days of Old Beijing

The Chinese show One Book, One City chooses a text to tour the town. In Paris, the show drew from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast; in London, it followed one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries. For Beijing, they picked The Last Days of Old Beijing, interviewing students featured in the book. (They flew to Singapore to talk to me.) Watch the show, in Chinese, here.

An LA Times op-ed, and a Sinica podcast

Here’s my Los Angeles Times piece on agricultural reforms in Wasteland, and also the Sinica podcast recorded in Beijing with David Moser and Kaiser Kuo. The latter started off by asking me to retell his favorite China story: my Sichuan bus ride that ended in mayhem, murder and a police station. Was it already 20 years ago this summer? I can still feel that guy’s hands around my neck . . .

New York Times review

Here’s the review in the daily New York Times. The photograph was taken by the paper in 2013 for another story, outside Commonplace Coffeehouse in Pittsburgh. I taught Moby Dick this semester, and this article’s nut graf evokes an 1851 review of the novel, described as: “a singular medley of naval observation, magazine article writing, satiric reflection upon the conventionalisms of civilized life, and rhapsody run mad.”