When Tong moved to Shanghai to open the China bureau for American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” he used the opportunity to connect with many of his relatives. His first book is an engaging and illuminating look at the country from both his professional perspective and his personal one. While chronicling China’s economic development, Tong rounds out the political and social history with detailed profiles of five members of his extended family. Through the stories of an American-educated girl born in the closing days of the Qing Dynasty, a pioneer exchange student, an abandoned toddler from World War II, a rising young professional in a multinational company, and an orphan adopted in the middle of a baby-selling scandal fueled by foreign money, Tong gives us an intimate and moving picture of today’s China.
Tong will be joined in conversation by Jason Beaubien, NPR's Global Health and Development Correspondent on the Science Desk.