China Beat Archive


Date of this Version


Document Type



2011 in The China Beat


Copyright 2011. Used by permission.


Tom Scocca’s engaging new book, Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future, which explores his experiences in China during its pre-Olympic and Olympic moments, has been getting enthusiastic reviews, includingone by Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post and one that yours truly did forTime. Seeing references online to the author giving talks about his book at various East Coast venues, I decided to send a few questions his way on topics ranging from the reaction he’s getting from audiences to how he keeps up with Chinese events now that he’s based back in the US. He readily obliged, with answers that often reminded me of why I’d liked the book so much (and in one case confirmed that I was on the right track to bring up parallels to Twain’s approach to memoir and travel writing in my Time essay). Here is what I asked and what he wrote in response: