/, Memoir/My Private China

My Private China

$16.95

by Alex Kuo

What do normal people in China look forward to when they get up in the morning? What is the mentor of Lang Lang like? What about the personal friend of Chairman Mao – and how does his granddaughter relate to him after the murderous Cultural Revolution? What do the numerous evangelical Americans really think of the Chinese? How does the One Country, Two Systems paradigm work for Hong Kong?

For the last 73 years, American Book Award winner Alex Kuo has travelled back-and-forth between America and China. These letters and essays portray the private China, and provide indispensable cultural information for anyone interested in the People’s Republic in the 21st century.

Look inside this book
Click on these links to read pages from My Private China. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

Introduction   Counting   The Re-Taking of Hong Kong

ISBN: 978-988-16139-4-3 Categories: , Tags: , ,

Description

What do normal people in China look forward to when they get up in the morning? What is the mentor of Lang Lang like? What about the personal friend of Chairman Mao – and how does his granddaughter relate to him after the murderous Cultural Revolution? What do the numerous evangelical Americans really think of the Chinese? How does the One Country, Two Systems paradigm work for Hong Kong?

For the last 73 years, American Book Award winner Alex Kuo has travelled back-and-forth between America and China. These letters and essays portray the private China, and provide indispensable cultural information for anyone interested in the People’s Republic in the 21st century.

MEDIA ATTENTION

“Although in recent years the amount of literature about China has grown significantly, Alex Kuo’s My Private China successfully sets itself apart from the rest. … Being born in Boston, raised in wartime Chongqing and having attended school in Hong Kong, Kuo – who won the American Book Award in 2002 with his compilation Lipstick and Other Stories – can be described as a “third-culture kid”. And even though Kuo claims, in a previous interview with the Post, that he is not a Hong Kong writer, he often writes about the issues the city faces in My Private China. As other books on China aim to discuss its economy, politics or the famous people it has produced, Kuo’s collection of profiles, interviews, essays and poems breathes life into his personal accounts of the mainland.” – South China Morning Post

“When you sit down with Alex Kuo, you’re instantly put at ease. The acclaimed Chinese American author has a calming influence, an elegantly mannered way of speaking and a carefully relaxed tone. And that, to us, is pretty surprising. Here’s a man who’s just launched his latest book, My Private China, in Hong Kong and it’s basically a tome which, through the use of letters, essays, fiction and even poetry, attempts to show the world many aspects of the Middle Kingdom – and Hong Kong, in places – which it would probably prefer to remain hidden. It’s a bold move.” – Time Out

Alex Kuo appeared on the award-winning Asian Threads on RTHK Radio 3. Listen to the podcast

“Alex Kuo’s newest book, My Private China, is a penetrating glimpse into a cross-section of life in China today. From Lang Lang’s formidable piano teacher Madame Zhou Guangren to zealous evangelical missionaries, Kuo gives us a dazzling, at times, unsparing, kaleidoscopic view of Chinese trying to keep with the speed of the world moving around them balancing ancient customs with new habits.” – World Policy

“With irony, wit and intelligence, Alex Kuo shares his unique experiences in China and Hong Kong. Part memoir, part cultural analysis, My Private China skewers stereotypes and misconceptions with the sharp eye and beautiful prose of the novelist and poet he is also. This is a must-read for China watchers and anyone willing to get behind the lazy reporting and political posturing that so often informs—or misinforms—writing about China.” – Robert Abel, author of Riding a Tiger

“In My Private China Alex Kuo plays with the multiple realities of Tiananmen Square China, global China, and post-colonial China. The shifting scales of ancient, present and future merge into a meditation on China’s place and China’s space. Though he may reveal that the tank gun barrels in 1989 Tiananmen were plugged, Kuo is certainly unplugged in this insightful collection.” – R. Edward Grumbine, author of Where the Dragon Meets the Angry River

Additional information

Dimensions140 x 216 mm
Pages

188

Binding

Paperback

About the author

After a Knox College BA (studied with Sam Moon, Hal Grutzmacher & Gogisi) and Iowa MFA (Donald Justice & Philip Roth) in the early 1960s, more than three-hundred-and-fifty of his poems, short stories, photographs and essays have appeared in magazines and newspapers, mostly recently in amerasia journal, Ploughshares, Piano Journal, International Examiner, Mascara7, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Three Coyotes, and in anthologies such as Craig Lesley’s Dreamers and Desperadoes, Ishmael Reed’s From Totems to Hip-Hop, Mike Ingham & Xu Xi’s City Voices and Andre Codrescu’s American Poets Say Goodbye to the 20th Century.

He has been an administrator and a teacher of writing, literature and cultural studies for fifty years at several American colleges and universities (from South Dakota State University to Roger Williams University to University of Colorado) as well as in China at Peking University, Beijing Forestry University, Jilin University, Fudan University and Hong Kong’s Baptist University.

During this period he has received three National Endowment for the Arts awards, and grants from the United Nations and the Idaho Commission for the Arts for background research in China for his novel The Man Who Dammed the Yangtze. In 1991-92 he taught in China as a Senior Fulbright Scholar, and in 1997-98 in Hong Kong as the Lingnan Visiting Scholar in American Studies. He was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagion residency for 2003-04. In 2010 Knox College presented him with its Alumni Achievement Award.

He was Writer-in-Residence for Mercy Corps in 2002-03, and Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Knox College in the spring terms of 2004 and 2009. In an innovative move in 2008, Shanghai’s Fudan University invited him to be its first Distinguished Writer-in-Residence. He has worked and lived almost his entire adult life in the American West, beginning in 1956 when he worked fires in USFS’s Region One.

His most recent books are Lipstick and Other Stories (2001) which received the American Book Award in 2002, Panda Diaries (novel/2006), White Jade and Other Stories (2008), A Chinaman’s Chance: New and Selected Poems 1960-2010 (2011), and The Man Who Dammed the Yangtze (novel/2011). In May of 2012, he was appointed Adjunct Professor at Beijing Forestry University.

www.alexkuo.org