Here are my latest book recommendations for Northwest Asian Weekly:
The Man Who Dammed the Yangtze
By Alex Kuo
Haven Books, 2011
In the Chinese city of Changchun, there lives a woman named Ge. In the city of Oshkosh, Wis., there lives a Chinese-American man named G.
These two individuals have never met, nor have they even heard of each other. But unbeknownst to both, they are living parallel lives. Both are finite-numbers mathematicians teaching at universities. After a demonstration goes wrong on each of their respective campuses, Ge and G become disillusioned with teaching and they each leave the profession to work in the dam-building industry — Ge at the Three Gorges Dam in China, G for the Westinghouse company in Pittsburgh. Once settled in their new careers, the parallel continues as both struggle to balance their personal views and values with the corporate politics that come with dam building.
“Yangtze” alternates between Ge and G’s perspectives as they go about their lives, allowing readers to see just how similar their situations are. In addition to their experiences, we also see how the history of China’s Three Gorges Dam parallels with the United States’ Grand Coulee Dam.
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