Download The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China Audiobook

The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China Audiobook, by Huan Hsu Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Huan Hsu Narrator: Huan Hsu Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9780804192187
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A journalist travels throughout mainland China and Taiwan in search of his family’s hidden treasure and comes to understand his ancestry as he never has before.   In 1938, when the Japanese arrived in Huan Hsu’s great-great-grandfather Liu’s Yangtze River hometown of Xingang, Liu was forced to bury his valuables, including a vast collection of prized antique porcelain, and undertake a decades-long trek that would splinter the family over thousands of miles. Many years and upheavals later, Hsu, raised in Salt Lake City and armed only with curiosity, moves to China to work in his uncle’s semiconductor chip business. Once there, a conversation with his grandmother, his last living link to dynastic China, ignites a desire to learn more about not only his lost ancestral heirlooms but also porcelain itself. Mastering the language enough to venture into the countryside, Hsu sets out to separate the layers of fact and fiction that have obscured both China and his heritage and finally complete his family’s long march back home. Melding memoir, travelogue, and social and political history, The Porcelain Thief offers an intimate and unforgettable way to understand the complicated events that have defined China over the past two hundred years and provides a revealing, lively perspective on contemporary Chinese society from the point of view of a Chinese American coming to terms with his hyphenated identity.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An ambitious family saga that marries the intimacy of memoir, the sweep of political history, and the suspense of an adventure novel…[Hsu’s] thoroughness leads to a rich, welcome discussion of porcelain, making the book a valuable introduction to this artistic tradition.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “[A] standout book.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A tantalizing mystery—will he find the treasure or will it be a wild goose chase?—told through the lens of an ABC, or an American Born Chinese. And not just any old ABC but one with attitude.”

    Washington Independent Book Review

  • “In addition to documentary and family history, Hsu explores China’s social and political history, as well as his personal feelings about China and the value of documenting and sharing Chinese family stories. Hsu’s fluid writing helps to synthesize these threads into a coherent story well worth reading.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Hsu] offers plenty of intriguing information about Chinese history and culture…[and] some first-rate detective work.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “The author’s narration of his search for the porcelain grows more compelling as he journeys back to the places of his family’s history…His daily experiences are blended with Chinese history and a general exploration of porcelain, but what sets Hsu’s story apart is his fascinating family history.”


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About the Author

Huan Hsu is a former staff writer for the Washington City Paper in Washington, DC, and the Seattle Weekly, and is the recipient of two Society of Professional Journalists awards as well as of recognition from the Casey Foundation for Meritorious Journalism. His essays and fiction have also appeared in Slate, The Literary Review, and Center: A Journal of the Literary Arts. He lives in New York.