Life Along the Silk Road

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Shannon McCarren Dr. Bisson Life Along the Silk Road 3/11/14 Life Along the Silk Road written by Susan Whitfield is a wonderfully rendered rendition of historical Chinese events during 750-1000 AD taking place on the Silk Road. Throughout the duration of the book Whitfield incorporates multiple characters that are very different because of physical and social reasons but all are impacted by the Silk Road in some way. The author, Susan Whitfield wrote the book and picked the setting because she wanted to bring light to a time period that is important in Chinese history but is rarely addressed. She also wrote the book because there were recent developments about what happened during that time period making it a complicated time in history so she looked to clarify that time period for the readers. Her way of clarification was personifying the history so that it would be entertaining as well as factual, which she wanted to do because she wanted history to not just be numbers and places, but to be able to have the readers understanding what life was like along the silk road. For the exact reason of wanting to personify the history, she made up the characters. So many people are unaware about the culture of that time and geographical area so making these ten characters makes it easier for the reader to understand what is going on as well as relate to the history that is being described by Whitfield. One of the characters that Whitfield wrote about was an aspiring merchant named Nanaivandak. He loved to trade and sell merchandise just like his uncle who apparently was killed by bandits on the route seeking for merchandise to use and sell themselves. But Nanaivandak knew that there was profit to gain in Chang’an for the goods he brought from Samarkand as well as silk that is very popular in China that he could bring back home to sell for a good profit. The

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