Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West

Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West

by Peter Hessler


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Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West by Peter Hessler

Full of unforgettable figures and an unrelenting spirit of adventure, Strange Stones is a far-ranging, thought-provoking collection of Peter Hessler’s best reportage—a dazzling display of the powerful storytelling, shrewd cultural insight, and warm sense of humor that are the trademarks of his work.

Over the last decade, as a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three books, Peter Hessler has lived in Asia and the United States, writing as both native and knowledgeable outsider in these two very different regions. This unusual perspective distinguishes Strange Stones, which showcases Hessler’s unmatched range as a storyteller. “Wild Flavor” invites readers along on a taste test between two rat restaurants in South China. One story profiles Yao Ming, basketball star and China’s most beloved export, another David Spindler, an obsessive and passionate historian of the Great Wall. In “Dr. Don,” Hessler writes movingly about a small-town pharmacist and his relationship with the people he serves.

While Hessler’s subjects and locations vary, subtle but deeply important thematic links bind these pieces—the strength of local traditions, the surprising overlap between apparently opposing cultures, and the powerful lessons drawn from individuals who straddle different worlds.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062206237
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/07/2013
Series: P.S. Series
Edition description: Original
Pages: 354
Sales rank: 499,518
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Peter Hessler is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he served as the Beijing correspondent from 2000 to 2007, and is also a contributing writer for National Geographic. He is the author of River Town, which won the Kiriyama Prize; Oracle Bones, which was a finalist for the National Book Award; and, most recently, Country Driving. He won the 2008 National Magazine Award for excellence in reporting, and he was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011. He lives in Cairo.


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

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Wild Flavor 1

Hutong Karma 11

Walking the Wall 29

The Dirty Game 51

Beach Summit 77

Boomtown Girl 93

Underwater 119

The Uranium Widows 135

Strange Stones 159

All Due Respect 177

When You Grow Up 203

Quartet 207

Home and Away 225

The Home Team 251

Car Town 271

Chinese Barbizon 293

Go West 315

Dr. Don 333

Acknowledgments 353

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Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading Peter Hessler (Oracle Bones, Country Driving, River Town and this collection of essays), I'm so impressed by his craft that I'd read a comic book for toddlers if he'd authored it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago