Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top 10 unputdownable Chinese books

Hilary Spurling won the Whitbread Biography and Book of the Year 2005 for her biography of Henri Matisse, the product of 15 years’ work. Her biography of Ivy Compton-Burnett won the Heinemann and Duff Cooper prizes. She has been a theatre and book critic for the Spectator, Observer and Telegraph, and lives in London.

Her new book is Burying The Bones: Pearl Buck in China.

For the Guardian, she named her top ten Chinese books. One book on her list:
River Town by Peter Hessler

Another brilliant book by a young American confronting a China beginning for the first time to open its doors to the West in the 1990s. Hessler spent two years teaching English in a nondescript small town on the Yangtze, and used it as a base from which to explore the country's enigmatic past, inscrutable present and unpredictable future. A spellbinding account of a moment that will never come again.
Read about the other books on Spurling's list.

River Town also appears on Oliver August's five best list of guides to China and its history.

--Marshal Zeringue