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Download The White Road: Journey into an Obsession Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The White Road: Journey into an Obsession, by Edmund de Waal Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edmund de Waal Narrator: Michael Maloney Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An intimate narrative history of porcelain, structured around five journeys through landscapes where porcelain was dreamed about, fired, refined, collected, and coveted.

Extraordinary new nonfiction, a gripping blend of history and memoir, by the author of the award-winning and bestselling international sensation, The Hare with the Amber Eyes. In The White Road, bestselling author and artist Edmund de Waal gives us an intimate narrative history of his lifelong obsession with porcelain, or “white gold.” A potter who has been working with porcelain for more than forty years, de Waal describes how he set out on five journeys to places where porcelain was dreamed about, refined, collected and coveted—and that would help him understand the clay’s mysterious allure. From his studio in London, he starts by travelling to three “white hills”—sites in China, Germany, and England that are key to porcelain’s creation. But his search eventually takes him around the globe and reveals more than a history of cups and figurines; rather, he is forced to confront some of the darkest moments of twentieth-century history.

Part memoir, part history, part detective story, The White Road chronicles a global obsession with alchemy, art, wealth, craft, and purity. In a sweeping yet intimate style that recalls The Hare with the Amber Eyes, de Waal gives us a singular understanding of “the spectrum of porcelain” and the mapping of desire.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The White Road is a unique book by a unique person. Polyglot, steeped in art and literature and history, able to throw a pot and turn a sentence with equal skill, endlessly curious and stupendously diligent, aesthetic to his fingertips but also deeply moral…Mr. de Waal brings a lot to the table, and with The White Road he goes all in.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “De Waal is a master of telling stories through material objects. He can see a vase and not only imagine the kind of room it once inhabited but the type of woman who might have brushed her fingertips across its lip…It’s de Waal’s own obsession―the man counts pots when he can’t sleep at night―that infuses the narrative with a true sense of the hunt…He is wonderfully manic in his research…He allows himself to get lost for weeks, to travel someplace only to return empty-handed―which makes for a true adventure and a pleasure to read.”

    New Yorker

  • “The history of porcelain, as told in The White Road, is a constantly surprising, sometimes absolutely staggering, coming together of art, craft and commerce, politics and religion, national identity, larger-than-life characters and wild, sometimes ruinous obsession…A terrific book. If you read it, you’ll never look at porcelain the same way again.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A lyrical melding of art history, memoir, and philosophical meditation…In short passages of allusive, radiant prose, the author chronicles his journeys in search of both the materials and the history of porcelain, discovering along the way men as obsessed as he…De Waal’s poetically recounted journey is a revelation, as well: of the power of obsession and the lust for purity.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015 for Nonfiction
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