Category Archives: Book Reviews

Reviews from various sources of titles published by Old China Books

Changes in Chinese Censorship of Western Books about China

Peter Hessler, writing in The New Yorker magazine, notes a change in the publishing climate for books about China by Westerners, after traveling on a book tour with his Chinese censor! “My Chinese censor is Zhang Jiren,” Hessler writes, “an … Continue reading

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Laotong 老同 “Old-sames” Women Who are Friends for Life, Revisited

Just received an inquiry through the China History Forum about the practice of laotong 老同, a uniquely Chinese kind of friendship between two girls that lasted all their lives, which was described recently by Lisa See in her novel Snow … Continue reading

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Three Authors Writing Today About China

Here are three recent, remarkable works of fiction by authors who are bringing China of many generations to life for readers in the Western world. The stories range from the distant Mongolian steppes through east China to San Francisco, with … Continue reading

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Trove of Old China Photos at the Visualising China Blog

While googling around for detail about Chinese compradors we came upon a post Last years of the comprador at the Visualising China Blog . This led Old China Books to Visualising China, “a web-based resource that allows users to explore … Continue reading

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“…journey to undiscovered countries, and boldly go where few have gone before.” A Review of Tom Carter’s China, Portrait of a People

Tom Carter’s photography book CHINA: Portrait of a People (second printing 2013, Blacksmith Books) is a remarkable photo-essay of China today, broad in scope and comprehensive of subject. Even when contrasted with the work of his predecessors, discussed below, there is … Continue reading

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John Thomson Photographs Discussed in Online Audio

 Just happened upon an interesting and detailed talk on the 19th century photographs of John Thomson. The audio discussion at KERA ListenLive, features host Krys Boyd talking with organizer of the exhibit Betty Yao, MBE of Credential International Arts Management in London, … Continue reading

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Peter Hessler Returns to River Town: Fuling, China

“The river looked better in the old days.” RETURN TO RIVER TOWN, Peter Hessler Readers of Peter Hessler’s River Town, or who take an interest in how China is changing – and what remains the same – will enjoy this … Continue reading

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Tom Carter’s “CHINA: Portrait of a People” now in 2nd printing

The 2nd printing of Tom Carter’s superb photo essay CHINA: Portrait of a People is available now, with an all-new prologue by acclaimed Chinese author Anchee Min (Pearl of China, The Last Empress, Becoming Madame Mao). Tom tells us that since … Continue reading

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When Soldiers Talk with Civilians – Lexicon and Meaning

[The general] ran into misunderstandings between military and civilian leadership over things as simple as terminology…. “What it really showed was because different cultures — the military, civilian, whatnot — all have their own lexicon, you can be having a conversation … Continue reading

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Disappearing Shanghai – more than 50 shades of Shanghai

On his site China Rhyming, Paul French has posted a review of Howard French’s Disappearing Shanghai. “…a photographic exploration of life in the old and rapidly disappearing quarters of Shanghai, with accompanying poems and essays by the author of fiction … Continue reading

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