In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland

A Sinica Podcast

Kaiser Kuo and David Moser are joined by Michael Meyer, the author of The Last Days of Old Beijing and now In Manchuria, a part literary travelogue and part journalistic account of three years spent living with family in rural Jilin.

Courtesy of Bloomsbury Press

Starting with stories of crime and punishment on the rural bus network and the ever-delicate question of where rice tastes best, our podcast moves on from the personal towards the broader subject of how Jilin's agricultural economy is transforming in the face of market pressures. And we also talk about the past, about the area's Manchu footprint and its continuing legacy from its period of Japanese occupation, both of which can still be seen as much from the people themselves as well as the monuments and cemeteries they left behind.



The View from Wasteland

Michael Meyer
In winter the land is frozen and still. A cloudless sky shines off snow-covered rice paddies, reflecting light so bright, you have to shield your eyes. I lean into a stinging wind and trudge north up Red Flag Road, to a village named Wasteland.The...



The Other China

Michael Meyer & Ian Buruma
Writers Michael Meyer and Ian Buruma engage in a discussion co-sponsored by The New York Review of Books centered on Meyer’s new book, In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China, which combines immersion...