Book Discussion: Chinese Characters:Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land

Jeffrey Wasserstrom Angilee Shah Michelle Dammon Loyalka

An artist paints landscapes of faraway places that she cannot identify in order to find her place in the global economy. A migrant worker sorts recyclables and thinks deeply about the soul of his country, while a Taoist mystic struggles to keep his traditions alive. An entrepreneur capitalizes on a growing car culture by trying to convince people not to buy cars. And a 90-year-old woman remembers how the oldest neighborhoods of her city used to be. These are the exciting and saddening, humorous and confusing stories of utterly ordinary people who are living through China's extraordinary transformations. The immense variety in the lives of these Chinese characters hints at China’s great diversity.


Chinese Characters is a collection of portraits by some of the top people working on China today. Contributors include a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, a Macarthur Fellow, the China correspondent for a major Indian newspaper, and scholars. Their depth of understanding is matched only by the humanity with which they treat their subjects. Their stories together create a multi-faceted portrait of a country in motion. This volume contains some of the best writing on China today.  

Contributors include: Alec Ash, James Carter, Leslie T. Chang, Xujun Eberlein, Harriet Evans, Anna Greenspan, Peter Hessler, Ian Johnson, Ananth Krishnan, Christina Larson, Michelle Dammon Loyalka, James Millward, Evan Osnos, Jeffrey Prescott, Megan Shank, with cover photos by Howard French 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013 | 12:00 pm — 1:15 pm | RSVP
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

Center for East Asian Studies