Adventures in a nation on the road
Long caricatured as a land of stagnant traditions or lockstep Maoist conformity, China today is a country on the move. Literally—China's new migrant labor pool, known as the "blind river," logs in more road miles and piecework hours than any other workforce in the world—but also mentally and spiritually, as more and more Chinese search for some new faith, whether Maoist, Buddhist, humanist, or laissez-faire - to fill in where decaying Party ideology leaves off. The new China, where religious pilgrims cross paths with born-again capitalists and uprooted communards, is a chaos of true believers pursuing different, often conflicting, visions of fulfillment.
The author and the illustrator, an American newsman and his Taiwanese wife, trail a series of such pilgrims: wandering farmhands, itinerant actors, a qi gong guru, a careerist policeman, a muckraking lawyer, a die-hard revolutionary agitator, a Taiwanese con man, a Tibetan lama, and many more. The result is neither a travelogue nor an analytic set piece, but a moral panorama, lit from within by the divergent hopes of Chinese citizens today.
About Lincoln Kaye
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Published January 29, 2002
by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.