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Book of the Month

A Village with My Name: A Family History of China's Opening to the World

In Light of the Sea, acclaimed journalist Scott Tong merges memoir and history, offering an account of regular people living through defining moments in modern China from the start of the 20th century to the present, including the toppling of the monarchy, occupation and war crimes during WWII, mass death, famine, and witch hunts under Communism, the secret expansion of prison labor camps, market reforms, and the dawn of the One Child Policy. In this lively and accessible book, Tong brings the long backstory of China’s quest to go global to an American audience, painting a compelling portrait of the often traumatic ways that world historical events rippled through Chinese society. Each character Scott profiles is a Chinese window to the outside world: a pioneer exchange student, a rare Americaneducated girl born in the closing days of the Qing Dynasty, an abandoned toddler from World War II who later rides the wave of China’s global export boom, a young professional climbing the ladder at a multinational company, and an orphan (the author’s daughter) adopted in the middle of a baby-selling scandal fueled by foreign money. The style is light and at times irreverent, but Tong explores dramatic moments with the depth and sensitivity of a grandson of China seeking to understand the country and its people before memories of the tumultuous 20th century fade.

Scott Tong is a correspondent for the American Public Media program “Marketplace,” with a focus on energy, environment, resources, climate, supply chain, and the global economy. He is former China bureau chief. Tong has reported from more than a dozen countries.

A Village with My Name: A Family History of China's Opening to the World
University of Chicago Press
ISBN 9780226338866
Hardback, £21.00

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