In 1984-85 my family and I lived on the campus of Peking University, where I was teaching. During that year I regularly visited a 97-year-old American who had been in China continually since 12923, a year after the Chinese Communist Party was formed. Fascinated with the stories he told me, some of them coherent, some not, I launched a research project that continued after I returned to the States and through a second visit to China to attend his 100th birthday celebration, followed in tend days by his death. Winter's story is that of a sensitive and keen participant observer who puts his listener/reader in touch with both the nuances of Chinese social life and also the violence of China's modern history.
Now, through a series of karmic coincidences, I am excited to be working with the manuscript again.