Synopses & Reviews
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. In Oracle Bones, Peter Hessler explores the human side of China's transformation, viewing modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world through the lives of a handful of ordinary people. In a narrative that gracefully moves between the ancient and the present, the East and the West, Hessler captures the soul of a country that is undergoing a momentous change before our eyes.
“An extraordinary, genre-defying book. . . . Beautifully constructed. . . . Hesslers reportage is vivid.” Nigel Richardson, The Daily Telegraph
“Wonderful. . . . Intimate. . . . The book reads like a really good novel.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A brilliant observer with a novelists ear for character and dialogue, Hessler is both fascinating and funny.” Entertainment Weekly
“Insightful. . . . Hessler is a wry and witty writer who manages to bring humor even to tense situations.” Christian Science Monitor
“Everyone in the Western world should read this book.” Publishers Weekly, (starred review)
“A remarkable travelogue documenting aspects of a country still little understood.” Kirkus (starred review)
“Hessler has written a fascinating and frequently moving account of life in modern China.” Booklist
“Engaging. . . . Acutely observed, moving, frequently funny and a perspicacious X-ray of Chinas zeitgeist.” South China Morning Post
Oracle Bones tells the story of modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world, as
seen through the lives of ordinary people who are connected in one way or another to America.
It combines soulful story-telling with a journalist's keen eye for detail resulting in a story that transcends cultural divides and puts a human face on history as it unfolds today.
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.