"China" The Book Review
If there were ever a book to place on your coffee table and allow to sit
there through the years to be ogled and enjoyed by you and friends and
family - - "China" by Yann Layma (Abrams, $50.00, 424 pages, 240
photographs in full color) is it.
If you are interested in China, great photography, history, language,
religion, remarkable reporting - this massive compendium of all things
China is for you. There is the incredible flow of the vistas of the Great
Wall all the way through to the newest splendid skyscrapers of Shanghai.
The author/photographer Yann Layma spent two decades appreciating,
understanding and absorbing the culture of China. The results are all for
The book has insightful and moving sketches of the country and profiles of
the cities in full color, full page and sometimes double page spreads. We
see workers building on girders and workers suspended in air cleaning
glass in tall buildings, old people at rest and youngsters open-eyed and
agog, boats, moving crowd scenes, bikes, horses and riders - a universe.
An especially welcome feature of the book comes at the end - each photo is
repeated in miniature with captions and the date taken and info about the
The past is as real as the present (and the future ) in this ambitious and
stunning effort - not only a great book about China, but one of the most
impressive books these reviewers have seen in a long time.
Yann Layma writes in his introduction: "When China suddenly opened its
borders to the world in 1979 by granting the first individual travel visa,
I experienced something of an epiphany, and the revelation of as future
vocation, the manifest destiny to open myself to the Other, move over
there, and to immerse myself willingly, body and soul, in the immensity of
that great center of human culture, that quarter of humanity." How
fortunate that he did and that we have his epic work to cherish and learn
from. "China" is a keeper!
About the Authors: Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband
team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional
scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories
It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in
America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in
Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.
They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining
as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United
States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
about these authors.
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This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer. All rights