China in One Village, the bestselling book by Liang Hong, chronicles how the author’s village has fallen into moral and physical decay over the past 40 years. In this program, the first of our ONE READ project, Liang and Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China, will discuss the fate of China’s countryside and the human impact of China’s extraordinary rise.
Join our ONE READ series over the next few months and read the book with our community, meet the author, watch a film, and deepen your understanding of modern China by examining the world behind Liang’s literary sensation, China in One Village.
The book travels with the author to her ancestral village in landlocked Henan Province. What she finds is a family riven by the seismic changes in Chinese society and a village turned inside out by emigration, neglect, and environmental despoliation. The book, newly published in English, raises the question: after decades of rapid development, what happens to the millions of Chinese still left behind by country’s astounding economic growth?
Liang Hong is a Beijing-based writer, and A Professor of Chinese literature at Renmin University, whose literary career has spanned criticism, reportage, and fiction. She is known for her scholarly research on twentieth-century Chinese literature, but true fame came to her with the publication of China in One Village. It was followed in 2013 by Leaving Liang Village. Since then, Liang Hong has been the recipient of many awards and honors. More recently, she has published a collection of short stories, The Sacred Clan, and two novels, The Light of Liang Guangzheng and Four Forms.
Ian Johnson is Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, and a Stephen A. Schwarzman senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. A writer and researcher whose work appears regularly in the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, Johnson was awarded the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his coverage of China for the Wall Street Journal. In 2017, Stanford University recognized him with its Shorenstein Journalism Award for his body of work covering Asia. Johnson is the author of three books including: The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, and Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China.