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Posted December 23, 2012
Ebrey acts like a curator of textual museum pieces, providing snippets of writing like a gallery of snapshots. She presents an almost random selection of material from people of almost every station--nuns, farmers, courtesans, merchants, bandits, accountants. The pieces of writing these people leave behind are like pieces of papyrus from the refuse pits of Egypt. Much of this writing was never intended for publication, and this is part of its authenticity. Ebrey wants a thousand authentic glimpses of the past rather than a modern person's rational summary.
--author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization
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