The River at the Center of the World
|Pages||410 pp (first edition, hardcover)|
|LC Class||DS793.Y3 W56 1996|
The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze, and Back in Chinese Time (ISBN 0-312-42337-3) is a book by Simon Winchester. It details his travels up the Yangtze river in China and was first published in 1996.
Viewing an ancient Chinese painting scroll drawn by Wang Hui gives the author the inspiration on how to structure his book. He starts his journey in Shanghai, at the Yangtze river's delta, and makes his way upriver to the headwaters. At the same time, his narration also makes a journey back in time, writing about contemporary times in Shanghai and Nanjing, and writing about events that date back increasingly farther in cities upriver.
He makes the travel with a companion — a Chinese lady who is referred to in the book only as Lily to protect her identity. The chapter titled A New Great Wall is devoted to the Three Gorges Dam, then under construction and fully operational as of 2012.
- The Plan
- The Mouth, Open Wide
- The City Without a Past
- The First Reach
- City of Victims
- Rising Waters
- Crushed, Torn and Curled
- A New Great Wall
- The Shipmasters' Guide
- The Foothills
- The Garden Country of Joseph Rock
- The River Wild
- Harder Than the Road to Heaven
- books.google.com link, which has a lot of information about the book
- Salon:Wanderlust review of the book
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