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ISBN: 978-962-21780-3-8
Soft cover, 174 pages
Size: 23 x 26 cm

Published: March 2008

Price: HK$240 / US$30.95

Beijing: Portrait of a City
Compiled by Alexandra Pearson and Lucy Cavender

Odyssey Books announces the publication of Beijing 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.

The contributors including 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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"...a gloriously 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 be savoured." 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



Blacksmith Books is an imprint of Blacksmith Media Limited
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