“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up – Michael Meyer’s new one out now

Posted: October 16th, 2017 | No Comments »

Michael Meyer of Last Days of Old Beijing and In Manchuria fame is back with the third in his China trilogy (a bit memoir, a bit analysis, a bit travelogue as always)….The Road to Sleeping Dragon….

From the highly praised author of The Last Days of Old Beijing, a brilliant portrait of China today and a memoir of coming of age in a country in transition.

In 1995, at the age of twenty-three, Michael Meyer joined the Peace Corps and, after rejecting offers to go to seven other countries, was sent to a tiny town in Sichuan. Knowing nothing about China, or even how to use chopsticks, Meyer wrote Chinese words up and down his arms so he could hold conversations, and, per a Communist dean’s orders, jumped into teaching his students about the Enlightenment, the stock market, and Beatles lyrics. Soon he realized his Chinese counterparts were just as bewildered by China’s changes as he was.

Thus began an impassioned immersion into Chinese life. With humor and insight, Meyer
puts readers in his novice shoes, introducing a fascinating cast of characters while winding across the length and breadth of his adopted country –from a terrifying bus attack on arrival, to remote Xinjiang and Tibet, into Beijing’s backstreets and his future wife’s Manchurian family, and headlong into efforts to protect China’s vanishing heritage at places like “Sleeping Dragon,” the world’s largest panda preserve.

In the last book of his China trilogy, Meyer tells a story both deeply personal and universal, as he gains greater – if never complete – assurance, capturing what it feels like to learn a language, culture and history from the ground up. Both funny and relatable, The Road to Sleeping Dragon is essential reading for anyone interested in China’s history, and how daily life plays out there today.

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