In 1983, Ma, tired of life in a China that, he writes, "feels like an old tin of beans that, having lain in the dark for forty years, is beginning to burst at the seams," grew his hair, quit his job, and took to the road. As he recounts in his able--and, at times, very strange--memoir, over the next three years he wandered into the western desert, through the mountains of Shaanxi, down the steamy southern coast, and, eventually, to Tibet. Along the way he slipped by inquisitive police agents, ate dodgy meals, fell in love a time or two, and learned much about his country--more than he bargained on, for, as he writes, "I am exhausted. China is too old, its roots too deep. I feel dirty from the delving."
Ma's travelogue, alternately humorous and sober, offers a constantly illuminating view of life behind the Great Wall. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
There is no deep analysis or discussion about his feelings.
These observations are not profound, and they ring hollow only when the try to be, but much that is profound can be gleaned from the mundane.
If you are looking for an existential view of China, then this book is for you, which I read at a local library.
This book takes you deeply into post-Mao China in a way no other could. Seen through the eyes of a young man who is on a quest for understanding himself and his country - through... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Susan B Timberlake
Ma Jian is far more than a novelist. Far more than a writer. And most of this book is a true story. This book, as well as any of Ma's uture4 writings, were banned by the Party in... Read morePublished 12 months ago by David Seaman
I read this book with book club and we all admitted we disliked the author after reading his story. Individually we felt guilty not feeling empathy, rejecting a dissident who... Read morePublished 22 months ago by David G
Red Dust takes us to a China we are not usually aware of. Well written, it balances the internal journey of the author with a look at China in the 80's, post Cultural Revolution... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Coffee Road
If you want to know one of the many faces of modern China this book gives you snapshot of what it is like to be an artist in the huge machine that is the PRC. Read morePublished on July 13, 2012 by Elizabeth Ciminelli
I am about half way through this book and I can go no further. Ma Jian travels, he walks, he sleeps, he eats, he writes in his journal, he takes photos. Read morePublished on July 6, 2011 by bittermelon
In 1983, this dissident left a failing marriage, his daughter, and Beijing to wander China three years. Read morePublished on May 21, 2011 by John L Murphy
A daring, utterly honest work that is at the same time NOT self-important as other aspiring travel literature authors are (Yu Qiuyu comes to mind). Read morePublished on July 22, 2009 by T C