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.
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 . . .
Here’s an interview with the NYT’s Beijing bureau chief Edward Wong, timed to the launch of the Beijing Bookworm Literary Festival. I’ll be there March 21 and 22. Ironically, my courtyard home that is the setting of The Last Days of Old Beijing still stands, while the farmhouse that was my base for In Manchuria has been razed.
Here’s a LARB review by longtime China writer Adam Minter. He knows what Lake Wobegon looks like, on two continents.
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.”
Here’s an interview with the gracious Kai Ryssdal, who has lived in China. The link includes audio and an excerpt from Chapter One.
Here’s a link to my talk on MPR.