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Book Title: The Early Arrival of Dreams|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 22.29 MB
v The author of the book: Rosemary Mahoney
Date of issue: September 12th 1990
ISBN 13: 9780449905524
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books The Early Arrival of Dreams:Rosemary Mahoney traveled on a cultural exchange to teach English at Hangzhou University in China.
Her style is a little confusing because she moves forward and backward in her narrative quickly and frequently. It took me a while to keep up with her without having to flip back several pages to remind myself where she was. What she is brilliant at, is description. There is nothing I like more about reading a book than feeling like I'm walking into someplace I've never been before.
The room was so vigorously swept I thought I could see the tracks of the broom's bristles in the hard cement floor. (page 159)
Like their teachers, the students had dim light bulbs and cold showers, and they washed their clothes in long sinks in the bathrooms. On clear days the dorms were brilliant with laundry draped on drying-racks outside the windows. (page 49)
Her descriptions of traveling within China made me question my desire to travel there. I've always felt that there are things one should see in China (the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Emperor's Terra Cotta Army, etc) and have a half-baked itinerary that I've carried around in my head for several years. What has put me off is every packaged trip includes a 3-day cruise to see the Three-Gorges Dam. I'm not interested in seeing a dam, or spending 3 days cruising up a river. I figured as long as I could get the visas, I'd be able to design the trip I wanted to take without the Chinese government showing me what they wanted me to see.
Mahoney's descriptions of travel within China are making me re-think this plan. On a weekend trip to Shanghai, she and a couple of colleagues were so packed into a slow moving train that the passengers without seats simply took to lying down to sleep on the filthy floor. Another time, she took a trip to Tokyo with a fellow teacher and returned alone just before the Chinese New Year. Her 3 day ordeal of being trapped in Guangzhou and trying to get a ticket back to her university made my stomach hurt.
In addition to the descriptions, Mahoney also has an amazing ear for dialogue. She makes much of strangers approaching her wherever she goes to "practice their English" on her regardless of what she's doing or where she is. While it tends to be annoying, she makes the most of it on several occasions by engaging with these strangers and asking them questions about their own lives. Her students open up to her and connect with her in a way that is breath-taking and heart-breaking at the same time.
I'm still in love with the idea of traveling in China, but I feel a bit better prepared at this point.
Read information about the authorRosemary Mahoney (born January 28, 1961 Boston) is an American non-fiction writer.
She grew up in Milton, Massachusetts, andgraduated from St. Paul's School (Concord, New Hampshire). She worked briefly for Lillian Hellman.
She has attended Yaddo.
She has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review, Elle, National Geographic Traveler, O Magazine, and the New York Times Magazine.
The Early Arrival of Dreams: A Year in China was a New York Times Notable Book in 1990, and Whoredom in Kimmage: The World of Irish Women, was a New York Times Notable book and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist in 1994, British writer Jan Morris listed her 2007 Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff, as one of the 86 best travel books of all time.
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