Interesting account of a two year stay in China. The author taught English at a medical college, and studied martial arts with several different teachers. He describes China and it's people from the perspective of one who sees and experiences much more than the average tourist ever could.
Salzman weaves a wonderful tale, and puts a human face on the people of China. As one of the few Americans who was able to live in China as long as he did, he brings a wonderful perspective to life in China. A captivating and easy read that leaves you wanting to know more.
For a couple of years the early 1980s, Mark Salzman was an English teacher and a martial arts master who went to a poor city China to teach English. Salzman recalls his many episodes and adventures there with vignettes in his book "Iron and Silk." He reveals much about the contrast of the Chinese culture from western culture. The poignant accounts will stay with the reader.
This is the most authentic revelation of life in modern China that I have ever read. It was recommended to me by a fellow-traveller in China a few years ago and I bought it as soon as I got home again. The insightful descriptions brought it all home too. Westerners are always on the outside in China, but this recount is as close as I can imagine one could get. Can't recommend it highly enough to anyone who wants to experience living China.
Insightful for travelers to China.
Great memoir of a Westerner teaching English in China. Well-written in an informative, breezy style that makes it easy to pick up, and dive right into.
From the back cover:
The much-acclaimed adventures of a young martial arts master in China "take the form of a series of lightly sketched-in episodes; almost without exception, they produce the gulp of feeling you might get from an unusually fine short story, and they reverberate long after you have put them down." (The New York Times)
"If there were a prize for most winning writer, Mark Salzman would cop it." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Salzman demonstrates with skill and subtlety just how Chinese society works." (Washington Post)
"Dazzling...exhilarating...a joy to read from beginning to end." (People magazine)
This book is a biography of Mark Saltzman who for some explained reason fell in love with Chinese martial arts and tells the story of his journey to China to perfect his training.