China covers a vast territory, and is far more ethnically and culturally diverse than many outsiders assume. So what does it mean to be Chinese?
Chris Livacarri, Director of Education and Chinese Language Initiatives at the Asia Society in New York. He will also be attending the forthcoming SSAT Chinese Conference in London on 18 and 19 May 2012.
Chris give us his 5 top recommended books for unpacking what it means to be Chinese. His titles are:
The Languages of China by Robert S Ramsey
“A wonderful history of Chinese dialectology. This book does a wonderful job of opening up the vision of China as a very diverse place”
The Sextants of Beijing by Joanna Waley-Cohen
“It’s a relatively short book, but it looks at the grand sweep of history from the origins of Chinese civilization to the post-Mao era”
Wandering on the Way by Chuang Tzu
“It’s very literary and, although written in prose, wonderful poetic. It questions all the things that we take for granted”
Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Lu Xun
“Lu Xun is one of the first figures to take aim at traditional Chinese society and try to liberate China by curing its soul”
The Story of the Stone by Cao Xueqin
“The book is a wonderful way to discover what are called the three traditions in China: Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism”
To read the full article including reviews of each book visit here.
Chris Livacarri on Language and Culture in China