If You're in England and Looking for Something Good to Read...

... let me humbly but enthusiastically suggest:


Dreaming in Chinese, by Deborah Fallows*, officially on-sale in Britain next week, available for pre-order on the UK Amazon site here; publisher's page from the London-based publishing house Short Books here

If you are resident in the New World, you may have to wait for the US edition, from Walker & Company, in September, complete with Americanized spelling and punctuation. In either case, you'll find out what you learn about modern China through learning Chinese. The author knows this based on being trained in linguistics and having learned a lot of other languages over the years, but she writes about love, life, and language in China in a jazzy style. I can attest first-hand to the time she invested in Chinese study over these past five or six years, including before we moved there in 2006. And to how many jams she got me out of, with what she was able to say!

I could be biased, but I think it's great. Plus, sassy, funny, and linguistically informed. See for yourself.
* My wife.
Presented by

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.


Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.


How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In