Jeffrey Wasserstrom - Chinese Characters


Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land

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Join co-editor Jeffrey Wasserstrom and various contributors to this provocative new book for a conversation challenging familiar media stereotypes of China. In Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land, some of the most talented and respected journalists and scholars writing about China today create a multifaceted portrait of a remarkable country undergoing extraordinary transformations by portraying the immense variety of lives that ordinary Chinese people are living. Speakers include: memoirist and fiction writer Xujun Eberlein; writer and photographer Howard French; journalist and translator Megan Shank; and media commentator, professor, and Asia Society fellow Jeffrey Wasserstrom. Followed by a book sale and signing.

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"The essays cover a panoply of issues facing modern China, and the book's combination of scope and intimacy is central to its achievement." — Publishers Weekly

Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Chair of the History Department at the University of California, Irvine. He is also an Editor of Journal of Asian Studies; a co-founder of and contributing editor to "The China Beat"; and an Associate Fellow at Asia Society. He is the author of China’s Brave New World: And Other Tales for Global Times, and a regular contributor to academic journals.

Xujun Eberlein grew up in Chongqing, China, and holds a PhD from MIT. Her story collection, Apologies Forthcoming, won the 2007 Tartt Fiction Award. Other recent honors include a 2008 artist fellowship in fiction/creative nonfiction from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a 2007 Goldfarb Nonfiction Fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Ledge 2007 Fiction Award, and second prize in Literal Latte’s Essay Awards.

Howard French is a journalist, photographer, author of Disappearing Shanghai: Photographs and Poems of an Intimate Way of Life (with Qiu Xiaolong), and of a forthcoming book about China's relationship with Africa to be published by Knopf in 2013.

Megan Shank is a freelance writer and Chinese-language translator whose work has appeared in Newsweek International, The Daily BeastMs., Bloomberg NewsThe Washington Post, Miller-McCuneM, ArchaeologyThe San Antonio Express-News,, The South China Morning PostThe American Lawyer and Global Journalist, among others. Shank currently serves as managing editor for East View Information Service’s The Current Digest of the Chinese Press.

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Event Details

Mon 17 Sep 2012
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York City
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$10 members; $12 students with ID/seniors; $15 nonmembers
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