"heralds a new golden age of journalism about a ceaselessly fascinating country.”

Chinese Characters is a collection of non-fiction pieces by writers such as Peter Hessler, Leslie Chang and Evan Osnos. I contributed the first chapter, on the life of a Daoist priest. I describe my skepticism of the priest, who at first seems to be interested mainly in commerce, and then the slow realization that his life has been a series of miracles--an allegory for the survival and rejuvenation of religion in today's China.

Publisher's Weekly writes: "the book’s combination of scope and intimacy is central to its achievement."

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