A Conversation with Peter Hessler and Leslie Chang
Peter Hessler was the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker and a contributor to National Geographic. He has previously written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, and other American newspapers and magazines. He is best known for his two books on China: River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (2001), a Kiriyama Prize-winning book about his experiences in two years as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in China, and Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present (2006), a collection of journalistic stories he wrote while living in Beijing. While his stories are ostensibly about ordinary people's lives in China and are not motivated by politics, they nevertheless touch upon political issues or the lives of people who encountered problems during the Cultural Revolution, the central example being that of the story of the archaeologist Chen Mengjia and his wife, poet and translator Zhao Luorui (aka Lucy Chao).
Author of Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory
(Harper, February 2010), Leslie T. Chang lived in China for a decade as a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, specializing in stories that explored how socioeconomic change is transforming institutions and individuals. She has also written for National Geographic. Factory Girls is her first book.