Peter Hessler completes trilogy
March 01, 2010 | Posted by Chris
China writer Peter Hessler has published the latest installment of his trilogy of books about life in China, this time exploring the country from its nascent interstate road system, according to a review by the New York Times. In Hessler's words, "the largest migration in human history" is presently taking place: the transition of nearly one-tenth of China's 1.3 billion people that are moving from rural areas to cities and factories. In "Country Driving: A Journey Through China From Farm to Factory," Hessler describes this phenomenon from the perspective of China's roads, saying of the process: Chinese drivers "don't mind if you tailgate, or pass on the right or drive on the sidewalk. You can back down a highway entrance ramp without anybody batting an eyelash. . . . People pass on hills; they pass on turns; they pass in tunnels." This is all metaphor, of course, for Hessler's observations of how people maneuver through society in modern China. Peter Hessler first moved to China in 1996, when he arrived in Sichuan Province with the Peace Corps, but he has spent recent years as a journalist based in Beijing writing for publications that include The New Yorker, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.