Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Colin Thubron's 6 favorite books about Asia

Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing. His first books were about the Middle East—Damascus, Lebanon, and Cyprus. In 1982 he traveled in the Soviet Union, pursued by the KGB. From these early experiences developed his great travel books on the landmass that makes up Russia and Asia: Among the Russians; Behind the Wall: A Journey through China; The Lost Heart of Asia; In Siberia; Shadow of the Silk Road; and most recently, To a Mountain in Tibet.

One of his six favorite books about Asia, as told to The Week magazine:
Beijing Coma by Ma Jian

At once an indictment of and a monument to the Tiananmen Square massacre, this big novel, whose protagonist surveys 30 years of Chinese history from his sickbed, mounts to its climax with almost unbearable tension.
Read about another book on the list.

Beijing Coma is one of Catherine Sampson's top 10 books on Beijing; it made the Wall Street Journal's list of Asia's best books of 2008.

--Marshal Zeringue