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Mountains Are High

a year of escape and discovery in rural China

«

‘An insider account of a retreat from China’s relentless urbanism ... Ash offers an alternative view of Chinese rural life which, though often still poor and hardscrabble for many, can also be rewarding, instructive, and even instagammable for those that choose it. A welcome antidote to the constant drum beat of China’s 24/7 rush hour, all-pervasive tech and consumption obsession. It seems that for some there is another potential way.’

»

Paul French, author of <i>Bloody Saturday</i>
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Detaljer

Forlag
Scribe Publications
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
ISBN
9781914484377
Utgivelsesår
2024
Format
22 x 14 cm

Anmeldelser

«

‘An insider account of a retreat from China’s relentless urbanism ... Ash offers an alternative view of Chinese rural life which, though often still poor and hardscrabble for many, can also be rewarding, instructive, and even instagammable for those that choose it. A welcome antidote to the constant drum beat of China’s 24/7 rush hour, all-pervasive tech and consumption obsession. It seems that for some there is another potential way.’

»

Paul French, author of <i>Bloody Saturday</i>

«

Praise for Wish Lanterns:

‘A gem of a book. Its brief chapters flow like a skilfully crafted set of interconnected short stories, yet all are rooted in the real life experiences of six individuals. An impressive debut book by a writer to watch.’

»

Jeffrey Wasserstrom, author of <i>China in the 21st Century</i>

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Praise for Wish Lanterns:

A beautiful and thoughtful book ... Alec Ash has succeeded in giving us an intimate and complex portrait of the one child policy generation. It skilfully documents their features, modes of life and dreams of the future. I enthusiastically recommend you to read it.’

»

Xiaolu Guo, author of <i>I Am China</i>

«

Praise for Wish Lanterns:

‘A provocative portrait of a fast-changing society riven by internal contradictions … a fine addition to the field, one of the best I have read about the individuals who make up a country that is all too often regarded as a monolith, but which abounds with diversity on multiple levels. Fluently written with nice touches of humour … this books supplies much food for thought, informing the wider debate while retaining its value as a closely observed picture of how some Chinese live today.’

»

Financial Times

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The Mountains Are High is a treasure. Part escapist tale, and part a lesson on the history, culture, and people of enchanted Dali. It’s a young man’s journey we all yearn for and only dream of taking.’

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James M. Zimmerman, author of <i>The Peking Express: the bandits who stole a train, stunned the West

«

The Mountains Are High is a fascinating story of modern China, told from the perspective of those trying to escape it. Alec Ash conjures up the paradise of Dali and the colourful characters that live there with an eye for the surreal. A writer of great talent.’

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Charlie Gilmour, author of <i>Featherhood</i>

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‘I am deeply impressed that Alec was able to create a new life for himself in this remote corner of rural China where “the mountains are high and the emperor far away,” and indeed, to gain a new perspective on life. Beautifully crafted, The Mountains are High was a joy to read.’

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Lijia Zhang, author of <i>Lotus</i>

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‘A beautiful, reflective book that probes gently but thoroughly into the depths of both the author’s life and China’s modern collision with its storied rural past at a time of global upheaval. Ash’s year spent communing with a colourful cast of China’s believers, burnouts, and internal exiles is by turns elegiac, energising, and uplifting.’

»

Charlie Walker, adventurer and author of <i>Through Sand and Snow</i> and <i>On Roads That Echo</i>

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‘Beautifully rendered. Equally tender and insightful. Alec Ash deftly weaves personal experiences into a longer history and larger social fabric of the place. The Mountains Are High is not only a loving portrayal of one corner of China, but also an illuminating probe of contemporary society and the meanings of life.’

»

Yangyang Cheng, award-winning writer and research scholar at Yale University

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‘An immersive, meditative, and constantly surprising search for meaning in a world beset by crisis. It beautifully and limpidly illuminates the extraordinary, eccentric complexity of contemporary China.’

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Julia Lovell, author of <i>Maoism</i>

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‘A poetic, intensely personal account of a year-long stay in a town at the edges of China, a place geographically on the margins of the modern country, but one full of memories and meanings that go far beyond the horizon. In this place, Alec moves through his own history and feelings, both towards himself and the country he has lived in for much of three previous decade. China under Xi Jinping is an often epic, overpowering place to make sense of. But this is an account that does that, through engagement with a specific environment, at a specific time, in a way which is humane and sensitive — two qualities desperately lacking in so much work on China today.’

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Kerry Brown, Professor of Chinese Studies and Director, Lau China Institute, King’s College London

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‘A beautiful window into rural China in all its variety, the search for freedom in all its complexity, and what it truly means to begin afresh.’

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Jade Angeles Fitton, author of <i>Hermit</i>

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‘A sharply observed and deeply reflective account of a year in rural China. Ash writes with sensitivity and empathy for both people and place, and expertly weaves his own story with that of China’s. The Mountains are High is gentle, lyrical, and reminds us that whatever else happens, spring will always follow winter.’

»

Leon McCarron, author of <i>The Road Headed West</i>

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‘Dali is a miracle. Bucolic climes, a shimmering lake, and agricultural abundance ringed by mountains, which, as Alec Ash nimbly reveals, preserve an enclave of relative liberty in China. Alec is a superb guide to Dali, his revelations rooted in heartfelt appreciation for the valley and its people.’

»

Dan Wang, Yale Law School and Gavekal Dragonomics

«

The Mountains Are High is a gorgeously written meditation on seeking freedom in an unfree country. Even if you think you know China, you will be surprised by Alec Ash’s exploration of an unlikely community of spiritual seekers, dreamers and dissidents, stoners and dropouts, tucked deep in the mountains of Yunnan Province.’

»

Barbara Demick, author of <i>Nothing to Envy</i>

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