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Conversations from the Cullman Center: In Manchuria: Michael Meyer and Ian Frazier



Michael Meyer talks about his new book, In Manchuria: A Village called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China, with Ian Frazier. Meyer’s account of the time he spent living and teaching school in the rice-farming community of Wasteland, in China’s rural Northeast, weaves together history, politics, and personal lives in a vivid drama of loss and change.

Berger Forum.


Michael Meyer first went to China in 1995 with the Peace Corps. He received a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction after publishing his first book, The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed. He has also held a Guggenheim Fellowship.  His stories have appeared in The New York TimesTime, SmithsonianSports IllustratedSlate, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and on This American Life. He worked on In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China while in residence at the Cullman Center in 2010-2011.

A staff writer for The New Yorker for over 40 years and a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, Ian Frazier is the author of several books, including On the Rez, Great Plains, Family, Coyote vs. Acme, and Travels in Siberia, which he worked on while he was a fellow at the Cullman Center in 2009-2010. In 1997 he won the Thurber Prize for American Humor. 

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