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China in Ten Words Paperback – 21 August 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 214 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher : Anchor Books (21 August 2012)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0307739791
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0307739797
  • Dimensions : 13.11 x 1.75 x 20.29 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214 ratings

Product description

Review

"Captures the heart of the Chinese. . . . If you think you know China, you will be challenged to think again. If you don't know China, you will be introduced to a country that is unlike anything you have heard from travelers or read about in the news." --The Wall Street Journal

"An outstanding set of essays on the general topic of why modern China is the way it is, each essay centered on a Chinese word or phrase. . . . Very much worth reading." --James Fallows, The Atlantic

"Yu has a fiction writer's nose for the perfect detail, the everyday stuff that conveys more understanding than a thousand Op-Eds. . . . Perhaps the most bewitching aspect of this book is how funny it is. . . . He comes across as an Asian fusion of David Sedaris and Charles Kuralt." --Laura Miller, Salon


"This is a tale told by a raconteur, not an academic. . . . The most powerful and vivid sections reach back to Yu Hua's childhood during the Cultural Revolution. . . . It is a cautionary tale about the risks of subterfuge, of trying to sneak something past one's father--or, perhaps, one's ever vigilant government. --The New York Times Book Review

If Yu Hua never wrote anything else, he would rate entry into the pantheon of greats for 'Reading, ' an essay in his new collection China in Ten Words. Nothing I've ever read captures both the power and subversive nature of youthful reading as well. . . . For American readers curious about the upheavals of China, this may be the right moment to discover Yu Hua. --Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

It's rare to find a work of fiction that can be hysterically funny at some points, while deeply moving and disturbing at others. It's even more unusual to find such qualities in a work of non-fiction. But China in Ten Words is just such an extraordinary work. --Los Angeles Review of Books blog

At times humorous, at times heartbreaking, and at times fierce, these ten moving and informative essays form a small kaleidoscopic view of contemporary China. . . . Written with a novelist's eye and narrative flair, China in Ten Words will make the reader rethink the China miracle. --Ha Jin, National Book Award-winning author of Waiting

"A collection of 10 quietly audacious essays that blend memoir with social commentary. Yu Hua, who resides in Beijing--a significant detail, given how many important Chinese authors live in exile, where they can write more freely--builds each piece on the foundation of a familiar Mandarin term. The approach is smart literary politics: The Chinese adore their language and consider devotion to it an act of cultural patriotism. . . . The insight it offers and the force and authority it packs is of a kind that few, if any, of those louder, more attention-seeking must-read books can even pretend to match." --The National Post

"A discursively simple series of essays explaining his country's recent history through 10 central terms. . . . Caustic and difficult to forget, China in Ten Words is a people's-eye view of a world in which the people have little place." --Pico Iyer, Time (Asia)

"One of China's most prominent writers. . . . In his sublime essay collection, Hua explores his often spartan childhood during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s and the rampant corruption of modern China." --Newark Star-Ledger

In this era of the China Boom when Communist Party officials are so inclined to erase the travails of their country's past from public consciousness, Yu Hua's insistence on remembering comes as an almost shocking intrusion into a willful state of amnesia. His earthy, even ribald, meditations on growing up in small-town China during Mao's Cultural revolution remind us of just how twisted China's progress into the present has been and how precariously balanced its success story actually still is. --Orville Schell, Director of the Center on US-China Relations, The Asia Society

About the Author

Yu Hua is the author of four novels, six collections of stories, and three collections of essays. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. In 2002, he became the first Chinese writer to win the James Joyce Award. His novel Brothers was short-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize and awarded France's Prix Courrier International. To Live was awarded Italy's Premio Grinzane Cavour, and To Live and Chronicle of a Blood Merchant were ranked among the ten most influential books in China in the 1990's by Wen Hui Bao, the largest newspaper in Shanghai. Yu Hua lives in Beijing.

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Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 February 2018
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T. Lloyd
3.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 February 2014
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J
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 May 2015
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Dr Z
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 November 2016
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T. Andrea
5.0 out of 5 stars frammenti di Cina vissuti
Reviewed in Italy on 19 February 2018
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