Category Archives: The China Blog

LARB’s China Blog covers the life, culture, politics and literature of China. It is edited by Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Maura Elizabeth Cunningham. If you’re looking for blog posts prior to September 2013, please visit our China Blog tumblr page.

The China Blog larb blog night heron

Tricks of Two Trades: A Q&A on Writing News Reports and Spy Novels with Night Heron Author Adam Brookes

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By Jeffrey Wasserstrom I’ve known Adam Brookes since 1999, when we met in Beijing where he was covering China for the BBC, and I’ve followed his career with interest ever since.  When I learned that Adam, whose latest reporting assignment has been the Pentagon, was trying his hand at a spy novel, I was intrigued. […]


The China Blog WWI Shanghai Memorial

China’s Forgotten World War I

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Photo: The dedication of the WWI memorial in Shanghai, in 1924. By Maura Elizabeth Cunningham World War I has always been primarily associated with Europe. That’s where the conflict began, where the major battles took place, and where the war had its most visible effect – the map of the continent was redrawn in its […]


The China Blog larb blog opium

The Opium War Comes to America (the Book, That is): A Q & A With Julia Lovell

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By Jeffrey Wasserstrom This week’s China Blog interview is with Julia Lovell, a British specialist in Chinese studies who teaches in London, lives in Cambridge, and has made her mark in several distinctive arenas.  She’s a distinguished translator of fiction (e.g., Zhu Wen’s short stories); she writes lively reviews and short essays for leading newspapers […]


The China Blog D8I_5215

Made in Bulgaria

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Photo: A Made-in-Bulgaria Chinese pickup truck on display near the Monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia, Bulgaria. By Tong Lam The future is all around us, hidden in physical signifiers, but we often lack the key to understanding the significations. The square around the Monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, […]


The China Blog larb china blog bad articles

Bad China Articles: Hall of Infamy

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This week’s China Blog post was originally published on The Anthill, a “writers colony” focused on writings about China, edited by Alec Ash.  By Alec Ash The Anthill occasionally loans its soul to the devil and does listicles. So far we’ve done China books and China blogs. Now we turn our eye to that richest of terrains – bad […]


The China Blog larb blog spiral

Why Chinese TV Should Be More Like French TV

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By Paul French If you want to understand a country’s national obsessions and public concerns, watch their TV crime dramas. Cop shows, at least those with contemporary settings, reveal what the folks at home are worried about: they draw on popular tabloid stories and reveal the state of the nation’s concerns. This televisual truism is […]


The China Blog THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT
By Amy Tan
589 pp. Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers. $29.99.

City of Reinvention: A Review of Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement

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By Maura Elizabeth Cunningham Shanghai is a city of reinvention. The metropolis has transformed over the past two centuries from a regional trading hub to a massive global financial center. Shanghai has become the site where China meets the world, a point of entry for alien goods and customs that transfigure the city into an […]


The China Blog Wang Zihao, photo credit Dou Yiping

Why Study Journalism in China?

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Photo: Wang Zihao. © Dou Yiping By Lu-Hai Liang and Dou Yiping China’s journalism schools, like those in many countries, are packed full of students preparing to join an industry where the supply of graduates far exceeds the number of positions available. The press may be perceived as the fourth estate in the West, but some […]


The China Blog graffiti

Graffiti in Beijing

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By Cutler Dozier A skinny 21-year-old Beijinger with shoulder length hair, wearing baggy jeans and a worn t-shirt, stares through his paint-speckled glasses, transfixed by the stack of multicolored graffiti cans arranged in front of him. He goes by the name WEK, and is deciding what colors he will use to paint his name on various […]


The China Blog Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 9.16.37 AM

Satire, Cyberspace and the 25th Anniversary of the June 4th Massacre

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I learned several weeks ago that China Digital Times was about to publish Crazy Crab’s Chinese Dream in Cartoons, an e-book featuring material by a satirist whose work I had enjoyed seeing displayed on their site. When I got my advance copy, I began looking through it eagerly, expecting to be amused or moved by […]