River Town

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (P.S.) - Peter Hessler

Interesting and well written, but some sections could have been tightened. The author spent two years (1996-1998) as a Peace Corp volunteer in Fuling, China. It is a remote town located in the Yangtze River Valley, in the heartland of the Sichuan province. He taught English, he learned Chinese and through his own learning, teaching, talking and living with these people he comes to understand what it is to be Chinese. His experience was one of total immersion. What he learned he has shared with us, and we don’t have to get sick as he did. We don’t have to be ostracized as he was.

Two things make this book better than most such books by Peace Corps volunteers. He really came to understand the people he lived with and his writing is better than most.