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Soft cover, 174 pages
Size: 23 x 26 cm
Published: March 2008
Price: HK$240 /
of a City
Alexandra Pearson and Lucy
FICTION & NON-FICTION
Odyssey Books announces the publication of
Portrait of a City, a
book which brings China’s capital to life in the
year that it hosts the summer Olympic Games.
The book is the shared work of some of
the city's finest writers who lead us through ‘hutong’ alleys, antique
markets, artists' communities, gay bars, parks and the nostalgic streets
of memory. They beguile with poems, amuse with camel anecdotes and
thrill with two murder stories
one a genuine antique, the other a
fictional contemporary. They take us back to the often-ignored Mongolian
roots of the city and project forward to ask whether spectacular modern
architecture will suffice to return Beijing to what it sees as its
ancient place at the centre of the world.
Compiled by Alexandra Pearson and Lucy
Cavender, the book interweaves its written work with a collection of wry
and telling photographs of different aspects of the city, creating a
compelling portrait of Beijing.
Zhu Wen, Adam Williams, Roy Kesey, Ma Jian, Alfreda Murck, Tim Clissold,
Catherine Sampson, Peter Hessler, Karen Smith, Paul French, Michael
Aldrich, Hong Ying and Rob Gifford, all published
authors and experts in their field
– have spent many years living in
Beijing and know it from the inside. Their individual
contributions combine to leave a highly original and unforgettable
impression of one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating cities.
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idiosyncratic mix of form and flavour that takes us into territory no
guidebook can reach. There is immense substance here, but that is almost
beside the point. This is not just a book to learn from; it is a treat to
Jonathan Watts, The Guardian
"Absorbing... takes the
reader on a journey through the streets, hearts and minds of Beijing...
captures a panoramic view, vivid and unvarnished, of a unique moment in
time as an historic city grapples the past and embraces the future."
James McGregor, author of One Billion Customers