Michael Meyer

discusses

In Manchuria:
A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
24
Tuesday
February 24, 2015
8:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes travel writer and author of The Last Days of Old Beijing MICHAEL MEYER for a discussion of his latest book, In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China.

In the tradition of In Patagonia and Great Plains, Michael Meyer's In Manchuria is a scintillating combination of memoir, contemporary reporting, and historical research, presenting a unique profile of China's legendary northeast territory. For three years, Meyer rented a home in the rice-farming community of Wasteland, hometown to his wife's family, and their personal saga mirrors the tremendous change most of rural China is undergoing, in the form of a privately held rice company that has built new roads, introduced organic farming, and constructed high-rise apartments into which farmers can move in exchange for their land rights. Once a commune, Wasteland is now a company town, a phenomenon happening across China that Meyer documents for the first time; indeed, not since Pearl Buck wrote The Good Earth has anyone brought rural China to life as Meyer has here.

Amplifying the story of family and Wasteland, Meyer takes us on a journey across Manchuria's past, a history that explains much about contemporary China-from the fall of the last emperor to Japanese occupation and Communist victory. Through vivid local characters, Meyer illuminates the remnants of the imperial Willow Palisade, Russian and Japanese colonial cities and railways, and the POW camp into which a young American sergeant parachuted to free survivors of the Bataan Death March. In Manchuria is a rich and original chronicle of contemporary China and its people.

Michael Meyer
Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer first went to China in 1995 with the Peace Corps. The winner of a Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing, Meyer has also won a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, Time, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Slate, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune. He is the author of The Last Days of Old Beijing, which became a bestseller in China, and he divides his time between Pittsburgh and Singapore.

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