Covering China from the Ground Up

Covering China from the Ground Up
Talk by Michael Meyer


Monday, March 02, 2015
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Bunche Hall 10383



In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China

Since first arriving in the country as a Peace Corps volunteer 20 years ago, Michael Meyer has witnessed and written about the transformation of China, at the level of both an urban neighborhood and a remote village. His award-winning first book “The Last Days of Old Beijing” documented changes in the daily life in the capital’s oldest neighborhood as the city remade itself for the 2008 Olympics. In his second book “In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China” he describes the experience of his wife’s relatives as their family rice farm developed into a corporate agribusiness.

Amplifying the story of family and Wasteland, Meyer -- via photographs -- will take us on a journey across Manchuria’s past, a history that explains much about contemporary China—from the fall of the last emperor to Japanese occupation and Communist victory. Meyer will also talk about the challenges of reporting from China and how a freelance writer can fund and produce books that reach a wide audience.


Michael Meyer first went to China in 1995 with the Peace Corps. As the author of the acclaimed The Last Days of Old Beijing, he received a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has also won a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers. Meyer’s stories have appeared in the New York Times, Time, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Slate, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and on This American Life. He teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh and spends the offseason in Singapore.


Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies

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Published: Wednesday, March 04, 2015