Book Review: River Town

First, I read Peter Hessler’s articles in The New Yorker.  Then, I encountered the author last month on one of his periodic visits to his alma mater.  Finally, I got around to reading his first book – and discovered what I’d been missing all this time.

River Town is en exceptional book that describes the two years that Hessler spent teaching English literature in Fuling, Chonqing as a Peace Corps volunteer.  Since my encounters with Hessler had taken place in reverse order, I couldn’t help but compare his .  The book has a fresher quality to it, for Hessler is is younger and perhaps a bit brasher than he is now.  It combines the personal development of a young man fresh out of college with China’s still-early steps into the larger world.


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