Full of unforgettable figures and an unrelenting spirit of adventure, Strange Stones is a far-ranging, thought-provoking collection of Peter Hessler’s best reportage—a dazzling display of the powerful storytelling, shrewd cultural insight, and warm sense of humor that are the trademarks of his work.
Over the last decade, as a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three books, Peter Hessler has lived in Asia and the United States, writing as both native and knowledgeable outsider in these two very different regions. This unusual perspective distinguishes Strange Stones, which showcases Hessler’s unmatched range as a storyteller. “Wild Flavor” invites readers along on a taste test between two rat restaurants in South China. One story profiles Yao Ming, basketball star and China’s most beloved export, another David Spindler, an obsessive and passionate historian of the Great Wall. In “Dr. Don,” Hessler writes movingly about a small-town pharmacist and his relationship with the people he serves.
While Hessler’s subjects and locations vary, subtle but deeply important thematic links bind these pieces—the strength of local traditions, the surprising overlap between apparently opposing cultures, and the powerful lessons drawn from individuals who straddle different worlds.
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A collection of personal essays and profiles that reveal the wonders and woes of the East....A rich, vibrant collection that pries wide the door to the East, welcoming Western readers inside.Read Full Review of Strange Stones: Dispatches fr... | See more reviews from Kirkus
...he has trouble eliciting larger themes. Very occasionally, his fondness for minutiae is distracting.Read Full Review of Strange Stones: Dispatches fr... | See more reviews from WSJ online
The pieces here can be read in order, or dipped into at random. Each has something interesting to say about China’s rich history and its fascinating present.Read Full Review of Strange Stones: Dispatches fr... | See more reviews from Star Tribune
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