- 1Dashan (Chinese: 大山; pinyin: Dàshān; literally "Big Head") is the Chinese stage name adopted by Canadian Mark Henry Rowswell, CM (born May 23, 1965 in Ottawa, Ontario) who works as a freelance performer in People's Republic of China. Relatively unknown in the West, Dashan is perhaps the most famous Western personality in China's media industry. He occupies a unique position as a foreign national who has become a bona fide domestic celebrity. Dashan can speak English and Mandarin fluently. He also spoke Cantonese in a Ford Commercial targeted at North American Chinese consumers.
- 2Peter Hessler is best known for his two books on China: River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze, a Kiriyama Prize-winning book about his experiences in two years as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in China, and Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present, a collection of journalistic stories he wrote while living in Beijing. While his stories are ostensibly about ordinary people's lives in China and are not motivated by politics, they nevertheless touch upon political issues or the lives of people who encountered problems during the Cultural Revolution.
Tom CarterTravel photographer Tom Carter (1973) was born and raised in the City of San Francisco and graduated with a degree in Political Science from the American University in Washington, D.C. Following a political career with a number of high-profile state and national campaigns, Tom decided to "peek over the fence" and subsequently spent 18 months backpacking down the length of Mexico, Cuba and Central America. Tom later spent one year in Japan, one year in India, and four years in the People's Republic of China, travelling extensively throughout the country's 33 provinces and autonomous regions. The result was his first book, CHINA: Portrait of a People, hailed as the most comprehensive book of photography on modern China ever published by a single author.
Jeffrey N. WasserstromJeffrey N. Wasserstrom is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, the Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies, and the author, most recently, of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (published in April by Oxford University Press). A co-founder and regular contributor to The China Beat: Blogging How the East is Read, and a co-editor of China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance, he has contributed commentaries and reviews to various newspapers and to magazines such as Time, Newsweek, and the Nation.
- 5Rachel spent her twenties in China as a consultant, writer, and the unlikely star of a nighttime soap opera called "Foreign Babes in Beijing." Her memoir of those years, Foreign Babes in Beijing, has been published in six countries and is being developed as a television series by HBO. Her novel Repeat After Me, about a young American ESL teacher, a troubled Chinese radical, and their unexpected New York romance, won a Foreward Magazine Book of the Year award. Her third book, the novel Big Girl Small, is forthcoming from FSG in 2011.
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