|From the bestselling author of "Oracle Bones" and "River Town" comes the final book in Hessler''s award-winning China trilogy in which the author highlights the human side of the economic revolution in China.|
From the Publisher:
In the summer of 2001, Peter Hessler, the longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, acquired his Chinese driver's license. For the next seven years, he traveled the country, tracking how the automobile and improved roads were transforming China. Hessler writes movingly of the average people?farmers, migrant workers, entrepreneurs?who have reshaped the nation during one of the most critical periods in its modern history.
Country Driving begins with Hessler's 7,000-mile trip across northern China, following the Great Wall, from the East China Sea to the Tibetan plateau. He investigates a historically important rural region being abandoned, as young people migrate to jobs in the southeast. Next Hessler spends six years in Sancha, a small farming village in the mountains north of Beijing, which changes dramatically after the local road is paved and the capital's auto boom brings new tourism. Finally, he turns his attention to urban China, researching development over a period of more than two years in Lishui, a small southeastern city where officials hope that a new government-built expressway will transform a farm region into a major industrial center.
Peter Hessler, whom The Wall Street Journal calls "one of the Western world's most thoughtful writers on modern China," deftly illuminates the vast, shifting landscape of a traditionally rural nation that, having once built walls against foreigners, is now building roads and factory towns that look to the outside world.
Many westerners have dedicated themselves to studying and traveling in China, but very few have been zealous enough to acquire a Chinese driver's license, which is what makes New Yorker reporter Peter Hessler such a unique and invaluable guide to the world's largest nation. Hessler ventured out among the dangerously inexperienced and downright reckless drivers of China on an epic road trip through many of the desolate regions which have been left in the dust kicked up by the nation's accelerated modernization. Displaying an uncanny knack for identifying the contradictions inherent to such a massive social transformation, Hessler documents his fascinating interactions with villagers who are torn between their loyalties to ancient traditions and their desire to claim their share of the new prosperity. Some of the more memorable portions of Hessler's remarkable journey include a long sojourn with the family of an engaging entrepreneur and a visit to a dilapidated factory which manufactures bra parts. Selected by the New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of 2010.