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The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 24, 2015
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“An ambitious family saga that marries the intimacy of memoir, the sweep of political history and the suspense of an adventure novel… [Hsu's] thoroughness leads to a rich, welcome discussion of porcelain, making the book a valuable introduction to this artistic tradition.”– Wall Street Journal
“[A] standout book.” – New York Times Book Review
“Not only is The Porcelain Thief a tantalizing mystery — will he find the treasure, or will it be a wild goose chase? — but it is an unearthing of various kinds of booty for the reader: a riveting lesson in Chinese history; a fascinating story of porcelain and its prominent place in the development of China; a gastronomic tour; a vivid and complex portrait of contemporary Chinese culture and the texture of modern life in the world’s largest country; and a group portrait of an extended, sprawling, fascinatingly eccentric Chinese family. Moreover, the story is all told through the lens of an ABC, or an American Born Chinese. And not just any old ABC, but one with attitude.”
– Washington Independent Book Review
“In addition to documentary and family history, Hsu explores China's social and political history, as well as his personal feelings about China, and the value of documenting and sharing Chinese family stories. Hsu's fluid writing helps to synthesize these threads into a coherent story well worth reading.” – Publishers Weekly
“[Hsu’s] persistence in the face of numerous obstacles is beyond admirable… He offers plenty of intriguing information about Chinese history and culture, from wild Shanghai traffic to family dynamics. Some first-rate detective work.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Huan Hsu takes us on an intriguing journey into his family's and China's tumultuous past. The Porcelain Thief provides a great, intimate view into how modern China really works.” – Frank Langfitt, NPR Correspondent, Shanghai
“Huan Hsu's return to his ancestral Chinese village in search of buried treasure keeps readers turning the pages, eager to see what he finds. The dig turns up more than ancient family valuables, as Hsu meets distant relatives and learns of the turmoil that they endured and that he, as an American-born Chinese, avoided. Part memoir, part journey, and part archaeological expedition, The Porcelain Thief is as suspenseful as any Indiana Jones adventure.” – Michael Meyer, author of The Last Days of Old Beijing and In Manchuria
“Huan Hsu blends a fascinating search for his own family’s roots with an illuminating portrait of modern China. The Porcelain Thief is a wonderful read.” —Rob Gifford, author of China Road
About the Author
HUAN HSU, born in the Bay Area and raised in Salt Lake City, is a former staff writer for the Washington City Paper in Washington, DC, and the Seattle Weekly. He is the recipient of two Society of Professional Journalists awards and has received recognition from the Casey Foundation for Meritorious Journalism. His essays and fiction have also appeared in Slate, The Literary Review, and Center: A Journal of the Literary Arts. He currently lives in Amsterdam and teaches creative writing at Amsterdam University College.
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The remaining 300 pages was tedious, slogging reading. Too detailed.Read more
Number of Pages: 400.
The Porcelain Thief is a memoir about Huan’s [an...Read more