Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China Review

Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China
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Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China ReviewThis is an absorbing traveller's tale which I began reading late at night and couldn't go to bed before finishing. Not only didn't I find it boring but I disagree with most of the criticisms in Thy Tran's review. Firstly, Delisle made it clear that he tried hard to converse with and get to know his translator but received no encouragement, which he found quite disheartening. The incident where they only begin to talk a short while before he leaves, when the formality and apparent awkwardness inherent in their situation fall away and parting is suddenly close at hand, is entirely true to life and happens to all sorts of people both within and across cultures. Also, Delisle obviously tried several places to eat and a variety of dishes with varying success and for him to settle on reliable favourites, as a semi-permanent resident, is quite natural. We all do it both at home and abroad while keeping our curiosity and options open. It seems to me that Delisle does all this in an understandably human way and I cannot see how this reflects badly on his attitude. He is obviously frustrated by many things and makes no bones about it, but he remains curious about the world he finds himself in and tries to find a way into it through the thing he knows and loves best, drawing - and by seeking out the work of Chinese artists that he has a powerful response to. I also fail to see any of the stereotyping that Thy Tran seems to infer from the book and on another flick through it I cannot readily see any of the "buckteeth" he finds so annoying. Like Delisle's "Pyongyang" this is a highly enjoyable and very human book and I recommend it.Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China Overview

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