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Chinese Characters (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 18. September 2012


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Produktinformation

Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"The essays cover a panoply of issues facing modern China, and the book's combination of scope and intimacy is central to its achievement."--"Publishers Weekly"

"An astonishing anthology."--"Pacific Standard"

"Funny and touching portrayals are what give this book its bite. They also help accomplish what the book sets out to do. 'Chinese Characters' sidesteps hackneyed generalizations of China as a country of either great promise or perilous menace."--Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore"Wall Street Journal" (09/20/2012)

"In reading these stories of how individuals make their way in this topsy-turvy, fast-paced society, enduring hardship, creating new businesses, challenging authority, struggling to maintain their identities and trying to create better lives for their children, it's impossible not to feel impressed--and connected."--Julie Makinen"Los Angeles Times Book Review" (11/04/2012)

"An astonishing anthology."--Adam Minter"Pacific Standard" (10/31/2012)

"Whether one is interested in China or merely wishes to indulge in some well-crafted prose, Chinese Characters will not disappoint."--Peter Gordon"Asian Review Of Books" (08/16/2012)

"Chinese Characters [is] both an illuminating portrait of contemporary China . . . [and] a delight to read on literary merit alone."--John Delury"Global Asia" (10/09/2012)

"Heartbreaking, uplifting, awe-inspiring and surprising. It's one of the best books I've read on China and it belongs on all of your bookshelves."--Richard Burger"Peking Duck Blog" (10/24/2012)

"A paragon of closely observed writing and a fascinating read."--Aelred Doyle"That s Shanghai" (11/01/2012)"

Funny and touching portrayals are what give this book its bite. They also help accomplish what the book sets out to do. Chinese Characters sidesteps hackneyed generalizations of China as a country of either great promise or perilous menace. --Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore"Wall Street Journal" (09/20/2012)"

In reading these stories of how individuals make their way in this topsy-turvy, fast-paced society, enduring hardship, creating new businesses, challenging authority, struggling to maintain their identities and trying to create better lives for their children, it's impossible not to feel impressed and connected. --Julie Makinen"Los Angeles Times Book Review" (11/04/2012)"

An astonishing anthology. --Adam Minter"Pacific Standard" (10/31/2012)"

Whether one is interested in China or merely wishes to indulge in some well-crafted prose, Chinese Characters will not disappoint. --Peter Gordon"Asian Review Of Books" (08/16/2012)"

Chinese Characters [is] both an illuminating portrait of contemporary China . . . [and] a delight to read on literary merit alone. --John Delury"Global Asia" (10/09/2012)"

Heartbreaking, uplifting, awe-inspiring and surprising. It s one of the best books I ve read on China and it belongs on all of your bookshelves. --Richard Burger"Peking Duck Blog" (10/24/2012)"

A paragon of closely observed writing and a fascinating read. --Aelred Doyle"That s Shanghai" (11/01/2012)"

Klappentext

For an outside audience that still sometimes sees the Chinese as the faceless masses, Wasserstrom and Shah have assembled a collection of faces and names and fascinating life stories of a range of Chinese people. The contributors are some of the best-known writers on China today, and from every layer of society and every walk of life, the Chinese characters they have portrayed give readers a privileged glimpse inside a country that is bubbling with diversity and change. -Rob Gifford, China Editor, "The Economist" and author of "China Road"
"What makes "Chinese Characters" such an enjoyable read is that it is a mosaic of engrossing portraits that allows the endless paradoxes of China to come alive in myriad enthralling ways. While the contributors obviously possess a depth of professional and scholarly knowledge about China, what distinguishes their offerings here is vivid and evocative writing that shows rather than tells. You will not only learn from this book, but enjoy it."Orville Schell, The Arthur Ross Director, The Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society, New York City
"Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Angilee Shah have assembled one of the most engaging, compelling narratives about China - past and present - that I've ever read. The contributors take us on journeys across contemporary Chinese landscapes in a wonderful range of tones and voices, mountains and cities. I can't wait to pass this on."Susan Straight, Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing, UC Riverside
"One of the frustrating challenges of teaching Chinese culture classes to American college students is dispelling the myth of a homogeneous 'Chinese people', supposedly acting and reacting in unison to the events and problems in their country. It often takes students an entire semester living in China to erase this misconception. A short-cut solution to this problem is the new addition to the China 'required reading' booklist, Angilee Shah and Jeff Wasserstrom s co-edited volume "Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land," an eye-opening collection of vignettes and case studies that conveys the great diversity of lifestyles and worldviews in this country of 1.3 billion. Following on the heels of Wasserstrom s valuable macroscopic cultural handbook, "China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know," this collection "Chinese Characters" zooms in for fascinating and often uncomfortable close-ups of Chinese individuals and the variegated fabric of their lives. My new list of essentials for students traveling to China for the first time: your passport, your plane ticket, and a copy of "Chinese Characters.""David Moser, Academic Director, CET Beijing Chinese Studies
"

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9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x934d6a2c) von 5 Sternen Poignant, inspiring, powerful 24. Oktober 2012
Von Peking Duck - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Angilee Shah have done a masterful job compiling and editing this book of 15 essays, each written by the most knowledgeable and articulate China experts on the planet such as Ian Johnson, Evan Osnos, Peter Hessler, Xujun Eberlein and Christina Larson. Each essayist tells the story of one (sometimes more) "Chinese character" -- ordinary people whose stories offer keen insights into life in contemporary China.

While each story revolves around an individual, the essayists put their lives in context, exploring the developments in China's history that help explain how they arrived at their present situation. For example, a beautiful story by Ian Johnson about a Taoist monk trying to hold onto his religion in a changing world offers a snapshot of the history of religion in China that is concise, informative and poetic. It also tells of how the Cultural Revolution nearly wiped out all religion n China. He at first sees the monk as a shyster but soon comes to respect him and to see the beauty in his life. It is the most poignant chapter in the book.

In one of my very favorite essays, Evan Osnos tracks down a student who created a video during the 2008 crackdown on Tibetan rioters that rails against the West and blames most of China's woes on imperialist forces. This was when nationalism surged in China and when Anti-CNN "exposed" the bias of Western media coverage of China. What a surprise it is when the reporter tracks down the video maker to discover he is a graduate students working on his dissertation on Western philosophy. He reads English and German fluently and is working on Latin and Greek. His room is stacked with philosophy books, and he is "under contract for a Chinese translation of Leibniz's Discourse on Metaphysics." As with each essay, this is not just a portrait of a character, it is an overview of the environment and the history that led this man to become what he is.

My favorite essay was by Peter Hessler, mainly because he has an astonishing ability to tell a story in gorgeous prose totally devoid of sentimentality. He writes about an artists' village set up by the local Communist Party to produce paintings to be sold cheaply and en masse to tourists and overseas buyers. The main hero of his story is a young woman from the countryside who paints pictures of iconic locations in Europe such as Venice or streets in Holland, and who has no knowledge of art history or of what she is painting. She just copies photographs or postcards on request. This is simply what she does; she does not see herself as an artist per se. "She had her skill, and she did her work; it made no difference what she painted."

There's much more to the essay than that, and he contrasts her with some other "Chinese characters," like a young man who plays World of Warcraft for a living. The essay is about the lives of migrant workers and how adaptable they are to change, and about how many of them live lives that are far different from Western perceptions.

Other essays include Alec Ash's depiction of the life of a Tibetan who decries China's treatment of Tibet while benefiting greatly from China's development of the region. Xujun Eberlein tells of her meeting with former Red Guards who had been vicious enemies during the Cultural Revolution. China's environmental crises, the impact of development on the lives of Uyghurs, the stunning success of Chinese entrepreneurs, the pressures of the gaokao, the rise of guitar playing throughout the country, the destruction of hutongs in Beijing (another of the best essays) -- the book sheds light on all these and many other topics by following the lives of the individuals who are actually living these stories. As the title indicates, the book is all about change, about people's lives being transformed, for better or for worse.

This is a beautiful book and one that I read very quickly. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the lives of Chinese we rarely hear about. It lends nuance to everything we hear in the media about China, and takes us into worlds most of us hardly know exist. It is heartbreaking, funny, uplifting, awe-inspiring and surprising. It's one of the best books I've read on China and it belongs on all of your bookshelves.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x92f8b5dc) von 5 Sternen Valuable window onto diverse modern China 1. Oktober 2012
Von David Moser - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I administer an overseas study program in Beijing, and one of the frustrating challenges of teaching Chinese culture classes to American college students is dispelling the myth of a homogeneous "Chinese people", supposedly acting and reacting in unison to the events and problems in their country. It often takes students an entire semester living in China to erase this misconception. A short-cut solution to this problem is the new addition to the China "required reading" booklist, Angilee Shah and Jeff Wasserstrom's co-edited volume Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land, an eye-opening collection of vignettes and case studies that conveys the great diversity of lifestyles and worldviews in this country of 1.3 billion. Following on the heels of Wasserstrom's valuable macroscopic cultural handbook, China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, this collection Chinese Characters zooms in for fascinating - and often uncomfortable - close-ups of Chinese individuals and the variegated fabric of their lives. My new list of essentials for students traveling to China for the first time: your passport, your plane ticket, and a copy of Chinese Characters.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x92a28108) von 5 Sternen Best book I've read on China in a long time 16. Dezember 2012
Von Rasmus - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Short review: this book is great! Of course it's a collection of essays, not a full length book, but it is much more worth reading than most "let me explain China's situation from a Helicopter perspective and tell you what will happen in 2050" type of books.

The single person perspective, the deliberate lack of any predictions or passing of judgement, and the deepth of the profiles make this a good read, even if you have lived a decade in China yourselves.

Favorite essays: "Painting the outside world", Peter Hessler; Looking for Lok To", James Carter; and "The Court Jester", Jeffrey Prescott ... but I really read the whole thing in one go!

Best,
/ Rasmus
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x92c35720) von 5 Sternen Warmingly personal, geopolitically necessary 22. Januar 2014
Von Nathan Schneider - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
It seems to me that U.S. culture tolerates a kind of willful ignorance about China, the country quickly becoming its major competitor for global influence. That ignorance could be dangerous, and this book is a much-needed antidote. It's not a survey of China's economic and political capacities, or even a field guide to its culture; I doubt a young State Department recruit or investor would find much of value in it for twisting the Chinese situation on behalf of U.S. interests. The stories it contains, rather, are about ordinary people and for ordinary people. These characters' backgrounds vary, but their lives come across as tellingly ambivalent, and as familiar as they are foreign. Each story is the work of an expert writer, and while the chapters present themselves as profiles, they are really conversations—speaking across cultures, languages, and prejudices. These are the kind of conversation that we all would benefit from having more of—and, if this book is any indication, we will enjoy having them, too.
HASH(0x947fff84) von 5 Sternen Truly Insightful and exceptionally well-written 2. März 2013
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I have been fortunate enough to visit China three times. I saw many changes from 2000 to 2006 to 2012. The book really captures the changing world within China. As an English teacher, I also fully appreciate the high quality writing. The writers/journalists who contributed to this book have written compelling beautifully written stories of their experiences in China. I loved Ian Johnson's piece about the Taoist monks and longed to read the rest of the story. I was greatly intrigued by the chapters on Chinese education as I compared it to the American and Western educational systems. I really felt for Old Lady GAO in Harriet Evans piece about Old Beijing. If you have any interest in China you should read this book; it is a great read.
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