The reviews-before-the-reviews are coming in, and I’m relieved the readers got the humor, and the tone of “humility gained through immersion.” Here’s Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus. “Many delightful and appalling adventures” would have made a great cover quote.
The book comes out on October 10 and is available for advance purchase here.
Its cover blurbs include a trio of nonfiction writers whose work spans China, Africa, Siberia and more:
“The Road to Sleeping Dragon is an invaluable resource for anybody determined to engage with today’s China. Rather than telling readers what to think about China, Michael Meyer’s lively memoir shows them how to think – how to embrace new experiences, new perspectives, and the ever-changing new incarnations of this incredible country.”—Peter Hessler, author of Oracle Bones and River Town
China has never had an explicator and enthusiast like Michael Meyer. His story of how he got to know the country is exciting, sometimes hair-raising, and always fascinating. This is a terrific book and I recommend it highly. –Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia
“I’ve been an admirer of Michael Meyer since his first book, and this, his third, only makes me more so. It’s hard for me to think of anyone who can dive into another culture with such infectious zest and curiosity, and who gets in so deep, so fast.”—Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost
The Road to Sleeping Dragon
Coming Fall, 2017!
In London this year I wrote the third book of my China trilogy. The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China From the Ground Up will be published worldwide by Bloomsbury in 2017.
I took the cover photo with frozen hands at a 3:45pm December sundown. The Mainland edition, from Shanghai Translation Press, comes out later this year.
Oxford and London talks
I’ll speak at the University of Oxford’s China Centre on Thursday, February 11 from 5-6:30pm, followed by a talk at the University of London’s SOAS China Institute on Monday, February 15 from 5-7pm.
The new issue of The Iowa Review includes my true tale of being attacked on a bus in Sichuan shortly after first arriving in China. This story will lead a work-in-progress collection I’ve tentatively titled China 2, or China — The Sequel!
Lowell Thomas Award
In Manchuria won a 2015 Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book. Judging was done by the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, and announced at the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation’s annual meeting in Las Vegas. From the judge’s citation:
“Michael Meyer immersed himself in an important geographic area rarely studied in depth by Western journalists or anybody else with Western values. Rural China is enormously important within the Chinese empire, and also for the rest of the world as that empire expands its influence. Meyer’s avoidance of the much-documented urban China in favor of understanding the rural populace is refreshing.”
Changchun, and a thawing of land rights?
Here’s an excerpt from Foreign Policy about how Puyi would still recognize a great deal of Changchun, the erstwhile capital of Manchukuo.
And, in a major announcement that received little coverage, farmers in two pilot programs, including in dongbei, will be allowed to use their land as collateral.
In Manchuria in India
Writing a book is like building a boat, right down to the “launch” that takes both away from you. Every now and then, the boat passes by, and someone says, “Hey, nice boat!” or cracks that it’s a piece of junk — to which the builder thinks, “Well, it still floats!” Regardless, it’s always surprising to see where the thing turns up. Recently, it’s India, where In Manchuria was a “Hot Pick” in the Hindustan Times, and is reviewed in the Times of India, the Financial Express, and the Business Standard. The latter concludes: “In Manchuria becomes a study in transience, solitude and also of a family. Read it for an inroad into one of the many grey regions of history.”
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