China Beat Archive



China to Me


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March 3, 2009 in The China Beat


Copyright March 3, 2009. Used by permission.


We’ve added a new blog to our daily reading–Evan Osnos’s dispatches at The New Yorker. Currently blogging from Vietnam, Osnos posted a few thoughts on Friday about Vietnam’s lengthy relationship with China (“Long After We Left“) and a few days earlier the delightfully-titled “From Karenina to Cyrus,” which in one short vignette traces the intellectual influences from West to East over the past few generations.

In his first post to the blog, Osnos mentioned a favorite China watcher here atChina Beat, Emily Hahn. Osnos writes, “I like to imagine what she would have made of this blog. Upon arriving in China in 1935, she penned a letter to her family, which began, ‘The thing that daunts me about writing letters is the effort involved in getting them mailed. The prices of stamps changes every few hours and there are never any mailboxes anyway.'”

Last year, we kicked off a (very) occasional feature called “Our Women in China” which draws attention to the outstanding female raconteurs of China, and we’ve been meaning to do a post on Emily Hahn ever since. In lieu of a reflection on her importance to China studies and China watching (we promise to come back to it sometime in the future), here is a short list to whet your appetite:

1. A list of her many publications can be found here.

2. Far East Economic Review remembers Hahn’s understated indictment of red light district reforms in Hong Kong.

3. The Writer’s Almanac writes about Hahn on the anniversary of her birthday this year (January 14).

4. The New York Times‘ obituary (February 19, 1997).

5. Jeff Wasserstrom draws connections between Missouri and China, of which Hahn is one.