Hsu, Huan The Porcelain Thief

ISBN 13: 9780007580927

The Porcelain Thief

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9780007580927: The Porcelain Thief

Hsu, a first-generation Chinese American, returns to China to discover the fate of his great-great-grandfather's long-buried porcelain collection and, in the process, unearths the key to understanding his family's history over the past one hundred years of Chinese history
 
In the tradition of the best works of history that uncover a forgotten family story, such as The Hare with Amber Eyes or The LostThe Porcelain Thief recounts journalist Huan Hsu's journey through the old and new worlds of China to find hidden treasure, reconnect with his ancestry, and come to terms with his hyphenated identity.
 
In 1938, when the Japanese arrived in Hsu's great-great-grandfather's Yangtze River hometown of Xingang, the family was forced to bury their valuables, including a vast and prized collection of antique porcelain, and to flee on a decades-long trek that would splinter it over thousands of miles and countless upheavals. Hsu, raised in Salt Lake City and armed with mere strands of a family legend, moves to China to work in his uncle's semiconductor chip business and begins to understand his family's history as he never has before. A conversation with his grandmother, the last living link to his family's life in dynastic China, ignites his desire to learn more about not only his ancestral heirlooms but also porcelain itself. Mastering conversational Chinese enough to launch himself into the countryside, Hsu sets out to separate the layers of fact and fiction that have grown up around both his family and China, and finally complete his family's long march back home.
 
Melding memoir, travelogue, ethnography, and social and political history, The Porcelain Thief takes the reader along with Hsu as he travels throughout mainland China and Taiwan to learn more about his family's fabled porcelain collection and, as a result, about the great-great-grandparents and estranged aunts and uncles he never knew. The Porcelain Thief is an intimate and personal way to understand the bloody, tragic and largely forgotten events that defined Chinese history in the 19th and 20th century.



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In 1938, with the Japanese army approaching from Nanking, Huan Hsu’s great-great grandfather, Liu, and his five granddaughters, were forced to flee their hometown on the banks of the Yangtze River. But before they left a hole was dug as deep as a man, and as wide as a bedroom, in which was stowed the family heirlooms.

The longer I looked at that red chrysanthemum plate, the more I wanted to touch it, feel its weight, and run my fingers over its edge, which, like its country’s – and my family’s – history, was anything but smooth.

1938. The Japanese army were fast approaching Xingang, the Yangtze River hometown of Huan Hsu’s great-great-grandfather, Liu. Along with his five granddaughters, Liu prepares to flee. Before they leave, they dig a hole and fill it to the brim with family heirlooms. Amongst their antique furniture, jade and scrolls, was Liu’s vast collection of prized antique porcelain.

A decades-long flight across war-torn China splintered the family over thousands of miles. Grandfather Liu’s treasure remained buried along with a time that no one wished to speak of. And no one returned to find it – until now.

Huan Hsu, a journalist raised in America and armed only with curiosity, returned to China many years later. Wanting to learn more about not only his lost ancestral heirlooms but also porcelain itself, Hsu set out to separate the layers of fact and fiction that have obscured both China and his heritage and finally completed his family’s long march back home.

Melding memoir and travelogue with social and political history, The Porcelain Thief is an intimate and unforgettable way to understand the bloody, tragic and largely forgotten events that defined Chinese history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Product Description:

In 1938, with the Japanese army approaching from Nanking, Huan Hsu’s great-great grandfather, Liu, and his five granddaughters, were forced to flee their hometown on the banks of the Yangtze River. But before they left a hole was dug as deep as a man, and as wide as a bedroom, in which was stowed the family heirlooms.

Among their antique furniture, jade and scrolls, was Liu’s prized porcelain collection, one he had amassed over many years and which contained priceless imperial items. The vault was fill to its brim before being covered with a false floor and replanted with vegetation. The family’s flight across wartorn China, and the arrival of the Communists, would scatter them across the globe. Grandfather Liu’s treasure became family myth, from a time that no one wished to speak of – no one ever returned to find it.

Three years ago, Huan Hsu moved back to China from the US. Armed with only the slightest threads of family memory, he set out to discover the truth. His investigations will take him through China’s cultural past and present, of which porcelain is a unique linking thread. He will gather memories of the China of another age from elderly relatives, uncover the story of his family’s flight from the Japanese, and confront the contradictions of contemporary China.

The Porcelain Thief will combine Hsu’s fascinating record of his family history with accounts of great political and cultural changes, and perhaps reveal, at last, the secret hiding place of his grandfather’s porcelain.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 216 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1938, with the Japanese army approaching from Nanking, Huan Hsu s great-great grandfather, Liu, and his five granddaughters, were forced to flee their hometown on the banks of the Yangtze River. But before they left a hole was dug as deep as a man, and as wide as a bedroom, in which was stowed the family heirlooms. The longer I looked at that red chrysanthemum plate, the more I wanted to touch it, feel its weight, and run my fingers over its edge, which, like its country s - and my family s - history, was anything but smooth. 1938. The Japanese army were fast approaching Xingang, the Yangtze River hometown of Huan Hsu s great-great-grandfather, Liu. Along with his five granddaughters, Liu prepares to flee. Before they leave, they dig a hole and fill it to the brim with family heirlooms. Amongst their antique furniture, jade and scrolls, was Liu s vast collection of prized antique porcelain. A decades-long flight across war-torn China splintered the family over thousands of miles. Grandfather Liu s treasure remained buried along with a time that no one wished to speak of. And no one returned to find it - until now. Huan Hsu, a journalist raised in America and armed only with curiosity, returned to China many years later. Wanting to learn more about not only his lost ancestral heirlooms but also porcelain itself, Hsu set out to separate the layers of fact and fiction that have obscured both China and his heritage and finally completed his family s long march back home. Melding memoir and travelogue with social and political history, The Porcelain Thief is an intimate and unforgettable way to understand the bloody, tragic and largely forgotten events that defined Chinese history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Bookseller Inventory # ARG9780007580927

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Huan Hsu
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 216 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1938, with the Japanese army approaching from Nanking, Huan Hsu s great-great grandfather, Liu, and his five granddaughters, were forced to flee their hometown on the banks of the Yangtze River. But before they left a hole was dug as deep as a man, and as wide as a bedroom, in which was stowed the family heirlooms. The longer I looked at that red chrysanthemum plate, the more I wanted to touch it, feel its weight, and run my fingers over its edge, which, like its country s - and my family s - history, was anything but smooth. 1938. The Japanese army were fast approaching Xingang, the Yangtze River hometown of Huan Hsu s great-great-grandfather, Liu. Along with his five granddaughters, Liu prepares to flee. Before they leave, they dig a hole and fill it to the brim with family heirlooms. Amongst their antique furniture, jade and scrolls, was Liu s vast collection of prized antique porcelain. A decades-long flight across war-torn China splintered the family over thousands of miles. Grandfather Liu s treasure remained buried along with a time that no one wished to speak of. And no one returned to find it - until now. Huan Hsu, a journalist raised in America and armed only with curiosity, returned to China many years later. Wanting to learn more about not only his lost ancestral heirlooms but also porcelain itself, Hsu set out to separate the layers of fact and fiction that have obscured both China and his heritage and finally completed his family s long march back home. Melding memoir and travelogue with social and political history, The Porcelain Thief is an intimate and unforgettable way to understand the bloody, tragic and largely forgotten events that defined Chinese history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Bookseller Inventory # ARG9780007580927

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Book Description 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 135mm x 216mm x. Paperback. In 1938, with the Japanese army approaching from Nanking, Huan Hsu's great-great grandfather, Liu, and his five granddaughters, were forced to flee their hometown on the banks of the Yangt.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 400 pages. 0.400. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007580927

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 13.4 x 20.8 cm. In 1938, with the Japanese army approaching from Nanking, Huan Hsu's great-great grandfather, Liu, and his five granddaughters, were forced to flee their hometown on the banks of the Yangtze River. But before they left a hole was dug as deep as a man, and as wide as a bedroom, in which was stowed the family heirlooms. The longer I looked at that red chrysanthemum plate, the more I wanted to touch it, feel its weight, and run my fingers over its edge, which, like its country's ? and my family's ? history, was anything but smooth.1938. The Japanese army were fast approaching Xingang, the Yangtze River hometown of Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather, Liu. Along with his five granddaughters, Liu prepares to flee. Before they leave, they dig a hole and fill it to the brim with family heirlooms. Amongst their antique furniture, jade and scrolls, was Liu's vast collection of prized antique [Url removed]cades-long flight across war-torn China splintered the family over thousands of miles. Grandfather Liu's treasure remained buried along with a time that no one wished to speak of. And no one returned to find it ? until [Url removed] Hsu, a journalist raised in America and armed only with curiosity, returned to China many years later. Wanting to learn more about not only his lost ancestral heirlooms but also porcelain itself, Hsu set out to separate the layers of fact and fiction that have obscured both China and his heritage and finally completed his family's long march back home.Melding memoir and travelogue with social and political history, The Porcelain Thief is an intimate and unforgettable way to understand the bloody, tragic and largely forgotten events that defined Chinese history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # MM-41032425

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Book Description 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 135mm x 216mm x. Paperback. In 1938, with the Japanese army approaching from Nanking, Huan Hsu's great-great grandfather, Liu, and his five granddaughters, were forced to flee their hometown on the banks.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 400 pages. 0.400. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007580927

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