Author Archives: Jeffrey Wasserstrom

The China Blog chinanoir

Noir Visions of China’s Past and Present

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I won’t say that an interest in criminal activity led me to a career teaching and writing about China, but books about death, detective work and other themes with links to noir genres certainly played a role in steering me toward my chosen profession.  More specifically, browsing the campus bookstore shelves at UC Santa Cruz […]

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Confucius, Mao, and the Little Red Book

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All Photos by Jeffrey Wasserstrom I’ve just returned from a trip to China that began with a week in Shanghai, where I participated in one literary festival, and ended with a few days in Beijing, where I had a small role in another bookish event of the same kind.  It was good to go back […]


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Marking Time in China and the West — A New Year’s Post

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“A spectre is haunting the world: 1914.”  So writes Harold James, a professor of history [who is] certainly right that newspapers and learned journals are currently full of articles comparing international politics today with the world of 1914. — Gideon Rachman, “Does the 1914 Parallel Make Sense?” Financial Times blog Today’s China is no longer […]


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The China Blog restless

Another Dozen China Gift Book Ideas (This Time to Buy for Yourself)

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I recently joined with three other “China Blog” contributors to compile a list of 12 gift suggestions for readers seeking books to give China-savvy or China-curious friends and family members.  This is a sequel inspired in part by how tough I found it to limit myself to just the trio of titles we were each […]


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Censorship, Translation and the Chinese Market

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“To me the choice was easy…I thought it was better to have 90 percent of the book available here than zero.” Ezra Vogel, author of Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of Modern China, statement made during a Chinese book tour. “As an academic who doesn’t write for a large publication, I’m always happy to have […]


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Rabindranath Tagore, Pearl Buck, and Mo Yan: China and the Nobel Prize

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The title of this post lumps together three writers I’ve begun to think of as a trio, though I can certainly understand why some readers might think of them as having precious little in common with one another. Only the first was a major poet, after all, only the second wrote a novel that became […]


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