In Search of China

Dave Kellogg, Author, Dorothy Stein, Editor, Tang Min, With University of Hawaii Press $16.95 (422p) ISBN 978-0-8248-1403-8
In 1984, 25-year-old David Kellogg took a break from studying Arabic in the Middle East to fulfill his childhood dream of traveling to China. The visitor became a resident, staying through the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, when he was accused of fomenting pro-democratic ideas. Five years' worth of letters written to family and friends, collected here, combine sketches of daily life with a wisecracking, diverting travelogue. Most rewarding are his sharply detailed observations--of the seedy bustle of Hong Kong; the preparation of a meal of dog meat (of which Kellogg became quite fond); the fantastic religious murals of Tibet; and the vagaries of his students in the science institute where he taught English. He also records his encounters with China's legendary lethargic bureaucracy and criticizes the abuses that attend China's forays into free enterprise. Three chapters written by Chinese authors include an original, contemporary folktale that sparked controversy and a lawsuit. A Westerner's-eye view of a China emerging from Maoism, Kellogg's book offers substance and information served up with literate panache. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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