By Peter Hessler
“Hessler has a wonderful experience of the intonations and gestures that provide lifestyles to the moment.” —The manhattan occasions publication Review
From Peter Hessler, the New York Times bestselling writer of Oracle Bones and River Town, comes Country Driving, the 3rd and ultimate booklet in his award-winning China trilogy. Country Driving addresses the human part of the commercial revolution in China, concentrating on economics and improvement, and indicates how the car increase is helping China shift from rural to city, from farming to company.
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Extra info for Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory
But this flood had been human, and the watermark was one of motivation. It measured exactly how high people were willing to climb for free bricks. In the village of Yingfang, I stopped to examine one of these bare sections, and a farmer named Wang Guo’an joined me in the road. “It was in better shape when I was young,” he said. ” Some sections of the Great Wall were damaged during this period, and Wang could remember villagers in Yingfang tearing down their local fortifications and using the materials for other building projects.
Five minutes later, Chen Zhen appeared. He was fifty-three years old, with sun-lined skin and gray hair that had been cropped close. He wore dark policeman’s pants, a green shirt that bore the gold buttons of the People’s Liberation Army, and a blue military jacket with epaulets on the shoulders and stripes across the cuffs. In the Chinese countryside, men often wear surplus army and police gear, because the cheap garments are practical. Invariably these clothes are mismatched and oversized; Old Chen’s sleeves hung to his fingertips.
Provincial roads were a thinner red, and county and local roads were smaller yet—tiny capillaries squiggling through remote areas. I liked the idea of following these little red roads, but not a single one had a name. The page for the Beijing region included seven expressways, ten highways, and over one hundred minor roads—but only the highways were numbered. I asked the Beijing driver about the capillaries. “They don’t name roads like that,” he said. ” “Sometimes there are signs that give the name of the next town,” he said.