China Watcher

Author Eugene William Levich’s China Watcher gives a rare, personalized account of China’s culture and history while also touching on the political unrest characteristic of its relationship with Taiwan. Levich has an advanced understanding of East Asian studies, having received two master’s degrees and a doctorate in the field. China Watcher recounts his time living abroad in Taiwan in the 1970s, where he was able to experience the local lifestyle firsthand. Charming anecdotes are intermingled with brief historical explanations in an attempt to provide a comprehensive view of Taiwan, which is an essential part of mainland China and its own independent entity.

What I found most remarkable about this work was the thoughtful, clever, and compassionate way in which it was written. What could have been yet another dry historical text is brought to life by the very personal nature of the writing. Often chapters open with lines of poetry or ancient Chinese wisdom, which adds a quality of loveliness to the text and seems an accurate reflection of the culture.

Though the author does discuss the politics and recent history of the region, what stands out most are his stories—his own personal experience with the Taiwanese. For example, he tells one story of Ah Hua, a little girl who lived on his block, who once organized a heist to obtain his fresh pineapple plate. Because the story is told with such obvious affection, you cannot help but fall in love with Ah Hua yourself and with Taiwanese culture as a whole.

While a delightful read, China Watcher did tend at times to read like a college lecture—albeit funny and thoughtful. If that was the intention, then it succeeds. Perhaps, though, with a heavier lean towards memoir and away from history textbooks, the text could be appreciated by a wider audience.

China Watcher is an entertaining and educational look into the philosophy and culture of the Taiwanese. Through true story accounts and well-researched historical facts, readers will develop a comprehensive understanding of what life is like on the island of Taiwan.

Pages: 277 | ASIN : B079654SJG

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The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on October 13, 2022, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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