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The Last Days of Old Beijing, Tales from the New City
by Michael Meyer
- 368 PAGES
A thoroughly engaging memoir of two years living in Beijing's oldest neighborhood. As more and more of Beijing's alleyways fall to its rapacious growth, journalist Michael Mayer moved into a threathened central Beijing hutong neighborhood (outside latrine and all), and here captures the rhythms, traditions, lively characters and history of the alleyways and courtyard houses. Meyer thoroughly enmeshed himself in the neighborhood -- he even becomes a teacher in the local elementary school -- and the result is a lovely elegy to a dying way of life.