Three Sketches of Peter Hessler

An American writer in China, by Wu Qi – translated by Luisetta Mudie

This piece, exploring the Chinese public’s many visions of Peter Hessler and the China he sees, is the first in a series of four translations of long creative non-fiction essays that first appeared in Chinese in Dandu (单读) Magazine and are translated in collaboration with Read Paper Republic. Subsequent essays from Dandu will run on Fridays over the following weeks. To support further translation such as this after the series ends, give now to our translation drive by donating to our Patreon page.
  1. The Big Meet-and-Greet

Hessler’s here. He has had three books published in China since 2011, and this is his first major meet-and-greet session with his readers here. Some say he’s the voice of the proletariat; the author of a Little Red Book for a new era. Put bluntly, more than just admiring the American author, Chinese people worship Hessler. Carrying English-language editions, traditional- and simplified-character editions – as if bringing different versions of holy scripture – they form a long line, waiting for Hessler to sign them.