Synopses & Reviews
HUAN HSU, born in the Bay Area and raised in Salt Lake City is a former staff writer for the Washington City Paper in Washington, DC, and the Seattle Weekly and is the recipient of two Society of Professional Journalists awards as well as of recognition from the Casey Foundation for Meritorious Journalism. His essays and fiction have also appeared in Slate, The Literary Review, and Center: A Journal of the Literary Arts. He currently lives in Amsterdam and teaches creative writing at Amsterdam University College.
About the Author
Hsu, a first-generation Chinese American, returns to China to make his fortune and, in the process, discovers his great-great-grandfather's long-buried porcelain and with it the key to his family's history over the past one hundred years of Chinese history
In the tradition of the best works of history that uncover a forgotten family story, such as The Hare with Amber Eyes or The Lost, The Porcelain Thief recounts journalist Huan Hsu's journey through the old and new worlds of China to find hidden treasure, reconnect with his ancestry, and come to terms with his identity.
In 1938, when the Japanese arrived in Hsu's great-great-grandfather's Yangtze River hometown of Xingang, the family was forced to bury their valuables, including furniture, jade, scrolls, and a vast and prized collection of antique porcelain, and to flee on a march that would cover thousands of miles and last more than ten years. Hsu, born in the Bay Area and raised in Salt Lake City, moves to China to work in the family business and begins to understand his family's history as he never has before. Mastering conversational Chinese enough to launch himself into the countryside, Hsu sets out to separate the layers of fact and fiction that have grown up around his family, discovering more about China—and himself—than he thought he would ever know. Melding memoir, travelogue, ethnography, and social and political history, The Porcelain Thief offers a unique and unforgettable window onto the dramatic narrative of China's past and present.