Monday, May 11, 2009

What is Kate Merkel-Hess reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Kate Merkel-Hess, editor of the blog The China Beat and co-editor of China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance.

Her entry begins:
I tend to read multiple books at once, and I try to mix purposeful reading that I’m doing for research or teaching with reading that I run across browsing the new books at the library or based on recommendations from friends.

At the moment, I’m re-reading Jonathan Spence’s The Chan’s Great Continent: China in Western Minds, which is an easy book to dip in and out of as each chapter addresses a different set “Western observers” of China. I’ve assigned the book for a course this summer, and so have been reading with an eye to what questions the book will raise for my students. Another China-related book that I’ve just begun is Confessions: An Innocent Life in Communist China by Kang Zhengguo. Kang laoshi was my second-year Chinese teacher and, as students often do, my classmates and I mused about his personal story (which seemed drama-filled). In this case, he’s written a 400-page memoir, and so now...[read on]
Kate Merkel-Hess is a Ph.D. Candidate in Chinese history at University of California, Irvine, editor of the blog The China Beat, and has contributed to the Times Literary Supplement, Current History, History Compass, The Nation (online edition), Far Eastern Economic Review (online edition), The Huffington Post, and History News Network.

Her book China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance is edited with Kenneth L. Pomeranz and Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom.

Writers Read: Kate Merkel-Hess.

--Marshal Zeringue