Browse Meet the Writers
Writers A-Z

Writers by Genre
  Featured Writers  
Children's Writers & Illustrators

Classic Writers

Mystery & Thriller Writers

Romance Writers
  Special Features  
Author Recommendations

Audio Interviews

Video Interviews

The Writers of 2006
Award Winners
Discover Great New Writers

National Book Award Fiction Writers

National Book Award Nonfiction Writers
Find a Store
Enter ZIP Code
Easy Returns
to any Barnes &
Noble store.
About the Writer
* Biography
* Interview
* Good to Know
If You Like Peter Hessler
You'll Like...
*Terrence Cheng
*Ha Jin
*Nell Freudenberger
*Chinese Lessons
by John E. Pomfret
*The River at the Center of the World
by Simon Winchester
Meet the Writers

Image of 
									Peter HesslerPeter Hessler
A Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Peter Hessler studied English literature at Princeton and Oxford before heading to China as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1996 -- and his experience teaching English there has so far inspired two critically acclaimed books.

* Read the interview

Fact File

Peter Hessler
Current Home:
Beijing, China
Date of Birth:
June 14, 1968
Place of Birth:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Princeton University, Creative Writing and English, 1992; Oxford University, English Language and Literature, 1994

2006 National Book Award Finalist, Nonfiction

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present, Author: 
								Peter Hessler.

Our Price: $ 21.60
You Save:  19%

Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present
by Peter Hessler
A century ago, outsiders saw China as a place where nothing ever changes. Today the country has become one of the most dynamic regions on earth. That sense of time -- the contrast between past and present, and the rhythms that emerge in a vast, ever-evolving country -- is brilliantly illuminated by Hessler in this exploration of the human side of China's transformation.

*  Read a chapter

Humble Beginnings

In our interview, we asked Hessler to tell us about how his career as a writer got off the ground. "The two years I spent in the Peace Corps made all the difference in the world to me as a writer," he explained. "I was isolated from editors and magazines and publishers, and all I thought about was teaching, learning Chinese, and writing in English. I couldn't worry about rejection slips; I was concerned with making myself understood and learning to function in a place that could be hard on outsiders."

An Acclaimed Debut

Hessler's Reading List

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze, Author: 
								Peter Hessler.

Our Price:  $ 12.54
You Save:  21%

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze
by Peter Hessler
Hessler's River Town (2001) won the Kiriyama Prize for outstanding nonfiction book about the Pacific Rim and South Asia. It was also a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover award, and in the U.K. it was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. The New York Times called it "a window into a part of China -- the province of Sichuan -- that has rarely been explored in depth."

*Read an excerpt
Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Encounters with the Archdruid, Author: 
								John A. McPhee.

Our Price:  $ 13.29
You Save:  16%

Encounters with the Archdruid
by John A. McPhee
We asked Hessler to tell us about some his all-time favorite books, and John Mc Phee's Encounters with the Archdruid made his list. "I read it in 1991, when I was a student in McPhee's writing seminar in college. That was the first time I read a book and heard a writer talk in detail about it, explaining some of the challenges and decisions involved in the project," he recalls. Read on to learn about more of Hessler's favorite reads, including:

*The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway  by Ernest Hemingway
*This Boy's Life: A Memoir  by Tobias Wolff
*Speak, Memory  by Vladimir Nabokov
*The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle  by Haruki Murakami
*Read the interview
Photo by Melissa Hamburg