World in 22 Books
Red Dust: a path through China
by Ma Jian
First published in 2001.
This edition by Vintage.
Overwhelmed by his desire to escape the confines of his life in Beiijing,
the author embarked on a three year trek that would take him through smog-choked
cities and mountain villages, from scenes of barbarity to havens of tranquility.
The result is a unique insight into the teeming contradictions of China
that only a man who is both an insider and an outsider in his own country
could have written.