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China Sings

To Me


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As China began to embrace the modern world in the 1980s, one man found the courage to claim his future.

For as long as he could remember, Cape Cod native Andrew Singer had been drawn to the rich culture and time-honored tradition of the mysterious land on the other side of the world. In the decade after the communist government reopened its borders to Americans, Singer follows his childhood dreams to the streets, alleys, and byways of the one-billion strong People’s Republic of China. But the college junior soon finds himself paralyzed with culture shock and a staggering language barrier. 

All around him, a nascent economic revolution holds the potential of ushering in an age of stability and prosperity after more than a century of suffering and stagnation. In the midst of China’s seismic growing pains, Singer faces unexpected difficulties and obstacles with the heart of a traveler.

Through new friendships, new love, and breathtaking expeditions from the majestic Great Wall to Confucius’ final resting place, he undergoes his own transformation. Before closing the book on his study abroad, Singer must discover the courage to live his own life without boundaries.


“China Sings to Me is a fascinating, moving, and deeply personal tale of one young man's attempt to understand himself and China. It is a highly engaging coming-of-age story set in the Middle Kingdom that offers a unique and insightful snapshot of China just as it was emerging from one of its most dark and turbulent eras, and attempting to open itself up to the West. With equal doses of keen observation and introspection, Singer not only offers a compelling portrait of China's growing pains, but also his own.”

—Eric Jay Dolin, author of Black Flags, Blue Waters and When America First Met China

“Not since Paul Theroux's Riding the Iron Rooster have we seen a memoir that so thoroughly encompasses pre-Tiananmen China. Part coming of age story, part travelogue, China Sings to Me gives the reader an honest, intimate look into a country and a people on the brink of change.”

— Susan Blumberg-Kason, author of Good Chinese Wife

Revising My Memoir: One Author’s Journey

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