Now up at the LA Review of Books China Blog, my interview with Michael Meyer, author of a wonderful new travelogue/history/memoir about life in China’s Northeast called In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China:
MEC: You write that you first voiced the idea of moving from Beijing to Wasteland “after too many shots of 120-proof liquor” one night. How did the idea go from there to reality?
MM: “One day, I just showed up with a suitcase.” After nearly a decade in Beijing, I had moved to New York City, where my wife had a job offer as an attorney. I spent a year-and-a-half in the 42nd Street library, rummaging through its surprisingly large collection of northeast China history, dreaming of traveling the region. I mean, literally dreaming – at night, I’d be walking down Broadway and see the Winter Garden’s marquee reading not “Mama Mia!” but “Manchuria! The Musical.” After my wife’s father died, she decided she wanted to spend some time back home, and so she quit her job, we put our things in storage, and boarded a plane.
I highly recommend picking up this book—it’s the perfect thing to hole up with at a time when the northeastern United States is doing its best to stage a Manchurian winter for us (more snow is falling outside my living room window even as I type).
Read the rest of my Q&A with Meyer here.
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