Bouth 18 Aug 2007 – Sue Ryder in Kings Heath

An excellent travel narrative – one of my top reads all year. Hessler goes to a small Sichuan city for 2 years with the Peace Corps, as a teacher. He describes exactly what it was like to live there, how he learnt Chinese, how he made friends. It’s told without egocentricity or arrogance, he doesn’t ignore the bad bits or stay grumpy for long; it’s absorbing and wonderful and I hope he has written, or writes, many more books.