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Suggested Reading
China

(click on the links to buy the books from Amazon)


We are interested to hear from you which books you think ought to make the Top ten.  We would especially like to know of any children's books that you know about.   

1. Wild Swans:  Three Daughters of China

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (Flamingo) The classic three generation story of three Chinese women . It won the 1992 NCR book award and the 1993 British Book of the Year Award. Like 'Long Walk to Freedom' it should be compulsory reading somehow. It's unputdownable.

2. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (Vintage) Simply a wonderfully written story. If you read it after Wild Swans you'll enjoy it even more.

3. River Town:  Two Years on the Yangtze

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler. (John Murray) Hessler went to Fuling in 1996 to teach English Literature and was one of the first two 'foreigners' to live there since 1949. A wonderful read. Sympathetic and sensitive.

4. Eighteen Layers of Hell: Stories from the Chinese Gulag

Eighteen Layers of Hell: Stories from the Chinese Gulag by Kate Saunders. (Cassell) An amazing piece of journalism about the Chinese Lagoi or 'Labour Prisons' - And it's not a history book.

5. Mao

Mao by Johnathan Spence (Phoenix). Spence is very well respected in China and some even say that he has a better understanding of Chinese history than they do

6. The Coming Collapse of China

The Coming Collapse of China by Gordon G. Chang. (Arrow) Well we don't think it's going to happen, despite all the valid reasons given here. See what you think.

7. China since 1949

China since 1949 by Linda Benson (Longman). A clear little textbook. Just over 100 pages and very well put together.

8. Soul Mountain.

Soul Mountain. By Gao Xingjian (Flamingo). The first Chinese winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Very, very slow, more like a dream than a story.

9. Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud.

Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud. By Sun Shuyun (Harper Collins) A current story of one Chinese Womans epic journey through Central Asia to India and back following in the footsteps of the 8th century monk Xuanzang. As we travel with her we learn about this Chinese hero and his faith in Buddhism. A tale told with humility and wisdom.

 

 

 

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