Sunday, 22 May 2005

From rice to riches

Listening to:

Schubert, piano sonata in C minor, D.958, played by Alfred Brendel.

Just read:

Jane Hutcheon, From rice to riches: a personal journey through a changing China.

This is an interesting book about modern China, from one journalist’s perspective. Hutcheon doesn’t try to generalise (probably a good thing), and sticks to the particulars of her experiences in China (definitely a good thing). She was there for a number of years as a journalist working for the ABC, and this means she has plenty of material. She also introduces her own background, including an interesting Hong Kong childhood.

While this book won’t necessarily give a total novice a very rounded picture of modern China, it definitely succeeds at conveying a substantial impression. Impressions of rural poverty and political dissidence combine with impressions of the riches and excitement of places like Shanghai. A good read.