The first ever children's book based on the design philosophy and architectural details of Beijing, China, Beijing: A Symmetrical City takes children and adults on a unique adventure through the ancient Chinese metropolis of Beijing — one of the world's oldest cities, founded around the same time as Rome.
All beautifully illustrated with easy to follow text. A perfect gift for children and parents, and anyone with an interest in history, architecture, travel and beyond, Beijing: A Symmetrical City:
• Features gorgeous illustrations in typical Chinese style;
• Teaches the historical significance of the names and placement of the most important buildings in the city;
• Provides background on the architect and builders that changed the course of history;
• Unearths ancient Chinese philosophy behind the city layout, rooted in harmony, balance and order.
Award-winning illustrator and author Dawu Yu, after years of meticulous research, has created the wonderful and captivating images seen throughout the book—images that visually demonstrate the beauty and symmetry of one of the world’s most aesthetically pleasing cities.
In 1989, When Walt Hackman’s son was tragically murdered his world collapsed around him. Seeking peace of mind and a new beginning, Walt sought to honor his son’s memory by bringing to life a dream that his son shared with him but had long been delayed — to live on a Chinese junk. And the first thing: to build one.
What followed was 5 trips to China in 4 years, dealing with people of totally different customs and culture, learning about Chinese history, poetry, and cuisine while learning Chinese, and rediscovering the China that Marco Polo observed 800 years ago.
The result was Mei Wen Ti, an authentic Chinese handcrafted wooden junk made with exactly the same techniques as when Marco Polo eyewitnessed in the Yuan Dynsaty. While the junk was named “Mei Wen Ti” which was a pet phrase of the Chinese workers that means “no problem”, Walt was met with numerous problems from the workers’ lack of knowledges of modern engines to not being able to find a shipping line to carry the junk to US. But he managed to get over the significant cultural barriers, making unlikely friends, achieving an improbable dream against all odds, and built the Chinese junk that changed his life forever.
Filled with humor, drama, mystery, and suspense, this delightful memoir is interspersed with intriguing Chinese anecdotes, poetry, and recipes. Walt’s extraordinary journey to build a wooden boat ultimately helped him honor the beloved son he lost and sail new seas.
Author Walt Hackman is a retired computer executive, art gallery owner, philanthropist, Navy serviceman, father, husband, and world traveler.
Walt joined the Navy in 1954, where his attachment to the ocean began. While stationed aboard the Kermit Roosevelt, Walt traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and developed an ardent and abiding interest in Asian and Pacific Rim culture.
Walt lives in Southern California with his wife Virginia Harmening.
This is a fascinating story that anyone who loves classic wooden boats will enjoy. Walt Hackman's conversational story style does a superb job of blending China's history with his own experiences and making even a simple breakfast surprisingly interesting. Having seen wooden junks weaving among great modern cargo ships in Hong Kong harbor fifty years ago, I felt a special kinship with Mr. Hackman's pursuit of his dream to have a wooden junk built half-way around the world by people who spoke little English for a customer who spoke virtually no Chinese.
--Thomas Jonathan Jackson
This is a memoir that moved me emotionally. I don’t need to say much about the themes because the blurb says it all. This book gives you an insight into the author’s life—the ups and downs, times of utter chagrin and the process of rekindling the light of hope. It is also filled with anecdotes about the author’s experiences in China and provides interesting details about the country’s unique culture.
The adventure of building a boat helped the author cope with the many tragedies in his life. While reading this book I felt like I too was a part of this journey. There are sections of this book which are extremely agonizing and there are sections which are incredibly funny. After all, life itself is that way; there are those inevitable crests and troughs. The writer has documented the changes in his life without any exaggeration. The portrayal of feelings and implicit realizations are just as brilliant as the description of nature or that of people.
Although there are many aspects of this fascinating memoir, the boat remains an integral part of it. I was completely engrossed in the captivating account of the author’s boat building venture. It’s something very new to me. I also admired the way Walter Hackman has described China and its inhabitants.
Penned in impeccable style, this book makes a perfect read. It is both entertaining and inspirational. Well done, Mr. Walt!
Poetry is the most concise and precise expression of a culture. A Poetic Portal to Chinese Culture is therefore your smartest start to learn everything deep down inside of the world's most populated country with the longest continuous history on earth.
Each chapter of the book features four or five classical Chinese poems along with elegant English translations to portray a particular theme of Chinese culture. With 12 chapters named after the months of the year, this book takes the reader through an imaginary calendar year to experience one Chinese festival after another. It will familiarize the reader with all the Chinese holidays and seasonal customs through the year while presenting breathtaking photos as illustrations. It's definitely a delightful and insightful read!
Crystal Tai ( 盧琪韶）was born in Taipei and moved to San Francisco with her family as a teenager. She earned a Master's degree in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies with coursework in Journalism from Stanford University in 2007. Since then, she has worked as a full-time news reporter for the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers and the Los Altos Town Crier. She has also been a regular contributor to Patch.com and the Palo Alto Weekly. Currently, she works as a communications specialist in the high tech sector, a bilingual talk show host for Chinese TV North America, and a freelance translator. She has translated former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee's and former Taipei Mayor San-Lien Wu's biographies as well as her own maternal grandfather Yu-Ting Chi's memoirs from Chinese into English. Among these translations, the family memoir book, Nine Memorable Decades, serves as research material in the archives of the Hoover Institution.
It's rare indeed to find a book that positions and explains Chinese culture to Westerners as well as "A Poetic Portal to Chinese Culture" does. I particularly love the way that Crystal Tai has described many aspects of Chinese culture by linking them to poetry, and to months of the year. The months provide a rhythm to the narrative; the poetry allows the author to explain and link in many nuggets of cultural knowledge. She has a deft eye for just the right level of explanation, of just the right things, making this an easy and enjoyable read.
Up till now, I haven't bought a book on poetry in the last twenty years. "A Poetic Portal to Chinese Culture" broke that poor record of mine, and I'm glad it did. As China is the emerging dominant world economic power and "America's workshop", an understanding of China, its culture and customs, is of overwhelming significance to Westerners. Most of us just haven't realized it yet. This book is an inexpensive and refreshing way to remedy that gap in knowledge, and I highly recommend it to all who wish to know more about that fascinating nation and its people. It's a book to dip into periodically throughout the year, and savor with delight.
It is a great book to learn traditional Chinese culture. It's well written with a lot of beautiful images. I could borrow the terms the author written/translated when introducing traditional Chinese culture and literature to my friends.
An insightful book that proves beautiful Chinese poems that the West can now understand and enjoy. I enjoyed learning the history behind each poem as well as the history and cultural significance behind names. It's a very easy read, sutible for all ages to appreciate and learn about history and its poets.
A pioneer in the study of Chinese Visual Poetry---which has never been recognized as a poetic genre yet remain dynamic and active up to now, Dr. Tan explores the chronological development of Chinese visual poetry in all its forms, chiefly including the earliest inscription fossils in prehistoric times, various types of Chinese calligraphy, hidden verse as displayed in the headwords of a common poem or doggerel, Chinese couplets, paper-cutting, Peking Opera masks, and poetic designs in advertisements and public posters in the present age. This book deserved to be considered an encyclopedic of Chinese visual poetry. At the same time, Dr. Tan also provides a convincing interpretation of Chinese mindset, world view, culture, philosophy and psychology as embodied in the visual poetry.
Hanwei Tan received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University in 2009. His major publications on word-image relations include, "Image and the Poetic: Micro-poetics of Chinese Characters" (2008), "Visual Poetry : A Typological Approach" (2006), "Concrete Poetry and the Literary Inheritance"(2006). He has co-authored three books, A Course in American Literature(1995), Intermediate English Composition(1994), Proper Names of Chinese-English Dictionary (1996).
A ground-breaking study of Chinese visual poetry from the perspective of comparative literature.
A well-planned comparative research layout which is helpful to explore and shape a clear and engaging picture of Chinese visual poetry in terms of its historical development, graphic and rhythmic features, and interactive relations with visual verses in other languages, especially those recently emerging visual verses in the present age of globalization, multiculturalism and cyber technology.
A milestone in studying Chinese visual poetry.
---- Professor Liu Shusen, Peking University
As one of the most ambitious and toughest efforts Dr. Hanwei Tan endeavors to make in this study, this book intends to explore Chinese visual poetry, including its history of evolution as represented by the typical poems of distinguished poets and the core values and nature of its visual poetics, by contextualizing it in the realm of world literature and comparing it with its counterparts in the tradition of Western poetry, instead of looking into it as a separate kind of visual poetry that has little to do with visual poetry in other languages. It is generally agreed that different from phonological languages of various families, all the major ancient pictographic languages in the world such as Egyptian, Sumerian, Indian and Chinese are universally characterized by some kind of visual arts that dramatically represent the sense and emotions of the words in those earliest human languages.
Jack Chieh-Sheng Ling was one of the earliest staff serving the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). He weaves a vivid memoir of his experiences and achievements with colleagues at UNICEF during its formative years.
Founded right after WWII in 1946, UNICEF wasted little time or expense in contributing to the humanitarian needs of the post-WWII international community, such that in 1965 it became one of the first UN organizations to win a Nobel Prize. Jack Ling shares about his intensive field work, detailing how he won donations from Japanese enterprises which had recovered from the war but still lacked self-confidence, and how he helped promote UNICEF's programs collaborating with Marlon Brando, Liv Ullmann, and other such superstars, etc. He recounts successes as well as mistakes learned from his years of experience with the international community. Anyone interested in the United Nations, its inner workings and what a career with the UN involves, will find this an invaluable resource and a captivating read.
Born in a bourgeois family in Shanghai, China in 1930, Jack Chieh-Sheng Ling grew up in the city’s French concession. In 1949, with the raging civil war interrupting his studies, he moved to Hong Kong where he met his future wife, and secured the opportunity to join the UN. He then embarked on a 30+ year career devoted to the UN. In his last years in the UN, he served as high-ranked directorate of WHO. He joined Tulane University's faculty after retiring from UN and helped establish the department of public health, and remained active in the UN's consultant commission for many years. He currently lives in New York with his wife.
A fascinating book both about the authors early years in China where he was born and his many years in UNICEF and WHO and other development organizations.
Excellent for those might want to know something more about the Pate and Labouisse days (The United Nations Children’s Fund first executive directors). What did James Grant, Carol Bellamy and more recent Exec.Dirs of UNICEF have to build on? One of the first UN organizations to win a Nobel prize (1965), it was recognized for local country offices and innovative programmes around the world to reach the most destitute...read more
Every Cloud Has Its Own Name is a collection of poems and essays of Cai Tianxin, a renowned Chinese poet, traveler, photographer and mathematics professor. "Travelers are those trying to gain inspirations and enlightment through spacial movements". Inspired by both his outer and inner journeys, Cai Tianxin wonders in his world of emotional geometry, fascinated by the changs of perspective, builds a small universe of space, feeling and sensuality.
"Mathematics is like a true language, which not only records and expresses ideas and the process of thinking, but also creats itself through poets and writers. It could be said that mathematics and poetry are the freest intellectual activistes of human beings. " ----Cai Tianxin
Cai Tianxin is Chinese poet, essayist, translator, and photographer, as well as a professor of mathematics at Zhejiang University, China. He was born in Taizhou, in the southeast China. He studied mathematics and received a doctorate with a dissertation on number theory from Shandong University. He has travelled more than 100 countries and attended 30 poetry festivals. He has published more than 20 books of poetry, essays, travels, photograph and biography, and has been translated and published into more than 20 languages, including books in English(two), Spanish(two), French, Korean, Armenia, Turkish, Croatian and Bosnia. He has translated and edited five volumes of modern world poetry. He won several national and international awards for his poetry and prose, and also had a dozens of photo exhibitions in different cities and countries.