Archive - March 19, 2010

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Evaluating Peter Hessler And The China Within, Part Two

Evaluating Peter Hessler And The China Within, Part Two

Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1965-67) who taught at Shijiazhuang Teachers College, Hebei Province, PRC, in 1990-91 and has written several book on  Nonwestern cultures and history, including three books about China, continues his essay on the writings of Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) III: Migration Throughout River Town and Oracle Bones Peter Hessler chronicles the lives of several of his former students. He highlights three in particular, William Jefferson Foster, Nancy Drew, and Emily (students often give themselves English names), as part of his “longitudinal study” of young adults in China dealing with the booming economy. Their experiences after graduation reinforce one of Hessler’s major themes in all three books: migration. As the economy expands and modernizes, young Chinese leave their home villages for the cities, especially the boomtowns in the eastern coastal regions. Hessler writes, “The whole country is moving in that direction” (7). The numbers are staggering: approximately 90 million . . .

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