In this captivating Journey halfway Asia – from Shanghai to the banks of the Indies – Stewart describe with great beauty and sensuality the landscape and history of China. He is an exact and subtle listen who portray the people he meets with it and unusual affliction.
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..."the book is full of the kind of lively encounters most people find only in literature...Stewart's narrative brings the Great Wall that much closer."-- "USA Today
For the Chinese the Great Wall defined a psychological frontier. Within it lay the Celestial Kingdom, the compass of all civilisation. Beyond lay a barbarian world of chaos and exile. Chinese journeys to the west, along the ancient Silk Road, were passages into the unknown, often into legend. Today, the great western province of Xinjiang is still a land of exile, the destination of soldiers, reluctant settlers, political prisoners and disgraced officials.
Following in their wake, Stanley Stewart journeys halfway across Asia, from Shanghai to the banks of the Indus, and along the way encounters the modern Chinese for whom these regions beyond the Wall still hold the same morbid fascination.
Whether describing the lost cities of Central Asia, a Buddhist monastery in the shadow of Tibet, a Kirghiz wedding on the roof of the world, ballroom dancing in the Mountains of Heaven, an escape from the secret police in Kashgar, or a love affair in Xi'an, Stewart tells his story with wit, charm and affection. In a book packed with character and incident, Stewart explores the paradoxes of travel, the lure of far horizons and the isolation of exile.
"Stewart must now be considered among the very first rank of contemporary travel writers."
ROBERT CARVER, 'TLS'
"Bewitching… subtle observation runs like a fine silk thread through the text."
"Elegant and witty… If you read no other travel book this year – read this."
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Book Description Firebird Distributing, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 6550290