BOOK TALK: “The Road to Sleeping Dragon,” by Michael Meyer

October 11, 2018 12:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Sponsored by the China Center for Social Policy


Michael Meyer went to China in 1995 as one of its first Peace Corps volunteers. He has written widely about his travels and recently completed the final book, a memoir, in his trilogy of books about his various interactions with China. Called The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up, the book is a memoir of what it was like to come of age in a country in transition. In it Meyer chronicles his experience of arriving in a small village as a Peace Corps volunteer and then trying to learn the country’s language, culture and history from the ground up. As Meyer puts it in an interview with Peace Corps Worldwide, “I landed in China knowing nothing about the place, let alone how to speak Chinese, or even use chopsticks.”

For the first book in his trilogy, The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed, which concerned the transformation of urban China, Meyer received a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction, followed by a Guggenheim Fellowship. His second book, In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China, covering changes in the countryside, won the Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book from the Society of American Travel Writers.

Meyer now divides his time between Singapore and Pittsburgh, where he is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching nonfiction writing.

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