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China in Ten Words Paperback – August 21, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 412 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Captures the heart of the Chinese. . . . If you think you know China, you will be challenged to think again. If you don't know China, you will be introduced to a country that is unlike anything you have heard from travelers or read about in the news.” —The Wall Street Journal

“An outstanding set of essays on the general topic of why modern China is the way it is, each essay centered on a Chinese word or phrase. . . . Very much worth reading.” —James Fallows,
The Atlantic

“Yu has a fiction writer’s nose for the perfect detail, the everyday stuff that conveys more understanding than a thousand Op-Eds. . . . Perhaps the most bewitching aspect of this book is how funny it is. . . . He comes across as an Asian fusion of David Sedaris and Charles Kuralt.” —Laura Miller,
Salon

 
“This is a tale told by a raconteur, not an academic. . . . The most powerful and vivid sections reach back to Yu Hua's childhood during the Cultural Revolution. . . . It is a cautionary tale about the risks of subterfuge, of trying to sneak something past one's father—or, perhaps, one's ever vigilant government." —
The New York Times Book Review
 
"If Yu Hua never wrote anything else, he would rate entry into the pantheon of greats for ‘Reading,’ an essay in his new collection
China in Ten Words. Nothing I've ever read captures both the power and subversive nature of youthful reading as well. . . . For American readers curious about the upheavals of China, this may be the right moment to discover Yu Hua." —Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
 
"It's rare to find a work of fiction that can be hysterically funny at some points, while deeply moving and disturbing at others. It's even more unusual to find such qualities in a work of non-fiction. But
China in Ten Words is just such an extraordinary work." —Los Angeles Review of Books blog
 
"At times humorous, at times heartbreaking, and at times fierce, these ten moving and informative essays form a small kaleidoscopic view of contemporary China. . . . Written with a novelist's eye and narrative flair,
China in Ten Words will make the reader rethink "the China miracle." —Ha Jin, National Book Award-winning author of Waiting
 
“A collection of 10 quietly audacious essays that blend memoir with social commentary. Yu Hua, who resides in Beijing—a significant detail, given how many important Chinese authors live in exile, where they can write more freely—builds each piece on the foundation of a familiar Mandarin term. The approach is smart literary politics: The Chinese adore their language and consider devotion to it an act of cultural patriotism. . . . The insight it offers and the force and authority it packs is of a kind that few, if any, of those louder, more attention-seeking must-read books can even pretend to match.” —
The National Post
 
“A discursively simple series of essays explaining his country’s recent history through 10 central terms. . . . Caustic and difficult to forget,
China in Ten Words is a people’s-eye view of a world in which the people have little place.” —Pico Iyer, Time (Asia)
 
“One of China’s most prominent writers. . . . In his sublime essay collection, Hua explores his often spartan childhood during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s and the rampant corruption of modern China.” —
Newark Star-Ledger
 
"In this era of the China Boom when Communist Party officials are so inclined to erase the travails of their country's past from public consciousness, Yu Hua's insistence on "remembering" comes as an almost shocking intrusion into a willful state of amnesia. His earthy, even ribald, meditations on growing up in small-town China during Mao's Cultural revolution remind us of just how twisted China's progress into the present has been and how precariously balanced its success story actually still is." —Orville Schell, Director of the Center on US-China Relations, The Asia Society

About the Author

Yu Hua is the author of four novels, six collections of stories, and three collections of essays. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. In 2002, he became the first Chinese writer to win the James Joyce Award. His novel Brothers was short-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize and awarded France’s Prix Courrier International. To Live was awarded Italy’s Premio Grinzane Cavour, and To Live and Chronicle of a Blood Merchant were ranked among the ten most influential books in China in the 1990’s by Wen Hui Bao, the largest newspaper in Shanghai. Yu Hua lives in Beijing. 

 

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Anchor; unknown edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0307739791
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0307739797
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.16 x 0.69 x 7.99 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 412 ratings

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
412 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful perspective on a complicated country - in just 10 words
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 13, 2021
Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 1, 2018
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P. J. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars What a read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 16, 2021
T. Lloyd
3.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 19, 2014
J
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 11, 2015
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