Encounters with Chinese Writers

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It’s been a pilgrimage for Annie Dillard: from Tinker Creek to the Galapagos Islands, the high Arctic, the Pacific Northwest, the Amazon Jungle—and now, China. This informative narrative is full of fascinating people: Chinese people, mostly writers, who encounter American writers in various bizarre circumstances in both China and the U.S. There is a toasting scene at a Chinese banquet; a portrait of a bitter, flirtatious diplomat at a dance hall; a formal meeting with Chinese writers; a conversation with an American businessman in a hotel lobby; an evening with long-suffering Chinese intellectuals in their house; a scene in the Beijing foreigners’ compound with an excited European journalist; and a scene of unwarranted hilarity at the Beijing Library. In the U.S., there is Allen Ginsberg having a bewildering conversation in Disneyland with a Chinese journalist; there is the lovely and controversial writer Zhang Jie suiting abrupt mood changes to a variety of actions; and there is the fiercely spirited Jiange Zilong singing in a Connecticut dining room, eyes closed. These are real stories told with a warm and lively humor, with a keen eye for paradox, and with fresh insight into the human drama.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Dillard distills her encounters in lively anecdotes, sketches and vignettes. Her charm lies in the simplicity of her storytelling, the way she conveys in sidelong hints the deep love the older Chinese writers . . . still feel for their country, and communicates her sense of the universals underlying cultural differences”—Publishers Weekly

“Keenly observed, often comic encounters”—Andrea Barnet, New York Times Book Review

“A splendid little book.”—Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post Book World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819561565
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1984
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 117
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

ANNIE DILLARD’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won a Pulitzer Prize in 1974. Her other books are Tickets for a Prayer Wheel, Holy the Firm, Living by Fiction, and Teaching a Stone to Talk. She was born in Pittsburgh and received a B.A. (1967) and an M.A. (1968) from Hollins College. She is now adjunct professor of English at Wesleyan University. A chapter of this book was the Phi Beta Kappa lecture at Harvard/Radcliffe n 1983. She lives in Middletown, Connecticut with her husband, Gary Clevidence, and their daughter, Rosie.

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Table of Contents

Author’s Note
A Man of the World
The Meeting
At the Dance
Sunning a Jinx
The Shanghai Worker
Some Notes On Reading
Saving Face
The Journalist
Zhang Jie
What Must They Think
Not Too Easy
Singing the Blues

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