River Town Essay

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River Town Two Years on the Yangtze Peter Hessler March 9, 2011 for my parents Contents Contents Maps AUTHOR’S NOTE ii iv vi I 1 1 Downstream 2 1.1 THE CITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 2 Shakespeare with Chinese Characteristics 25 2.1 RAISE THE FLAG MOUNTAIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 3 Running 46 3.1 THE WHITE CRANE RIDGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 4 The Dam 78 4.1 THE WU RIVER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 5 Opium Wars 104 5.1 WHITE FLAT MOUNTAIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 6 Storm 128 II 145 7 Summer 146 7.1 THE PRIEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 8 Chinese Life 179 8.1 THE RESTAURANT OWNER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196 9 Money 201 9.1 THE TEACHER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 10 Chinese New Year 232 10.1 THE LAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255 ii 11 Spring Again 260 11.1 THE RIVER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283 12 Upstream P.S. Insights, Interviews & More… About the author . . . . . . . . . About the book . . . . . . . . . . Read on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ASYLUM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288 318 318 319 324 326 329 330 331 Praise for RIVER TOWN by P ETER H ESSLER Maps iv AUTHOR’S NOTE THE CHAPTERS OF THIS BOOK describe my life in Fuling, while the interspersed sketches focus on the local landscape, its history, and the people. All of these sketches were written

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