The White Road: Journey Into an Obsession - Edmund de Waal

Like the legendary Silk Road, The White Road (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27) is a route of wonders. Edmund de Waal’s fifth book is about the “white gold” that is porcelain, and porcelain is about geology and alchemy, shards and ewers, Jesuits, emperors, and Swedenborg’s angels—it’s a rich, multi-faceted story that de Waal, a world-renowned ceramicist who “write[s] books, too,” follows from China to Versailles to Meissen to Plymouth. Along the way he charts where it darkens with exploitation, war, and the Nazis’ brand of figurines, but more often reports the efforts of craftsmen and apothecaries to perfect the balance of porcelain’s kaolin and other (often secret) ingredients, and to discover the best temperatures for firing the clay to its wondrous luminescence. This quest leads de Waal, like so many others, to develop a life-long case of porzellankranheir, “porcelain sickness”—a condition reminiscent of tulip-mania. As he did in his unforgettable The Hare with Amber Eyes, de Waal makes history personal; he is passionate about porcelain, and his exquisitely textured language brings you into the hearts, minds, and hands of some of the world’s most virtuosic—and colorful—artisans of the white clay.

The White Road: Journey into an Obsession Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374289263
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 10th, 2015

The White Road: Journey into an Obsession Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781250097323
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Picador - November 1st, 2016