AWIL 243 - Michael Bristow Sat, 2017-12-09 12:07
BBC broadcaster & author of ‘China In Drag’, Michael Bristow on this A World in London!
China is a country that has seen rapid change in little more than a generation, shifting from Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, from 1966-76, to the hugely influential global superpower we know today. But for the many uninitiated, China still appears impenetrable, with what to outsider’s seem like unique cultural quirks. Metaphorically speaking, the Great Wall of China has long needed a good knocking down and thoughtful ambassadors to connect East and West. Enter Michael Bristow, who grew up in a small Yorkshire village. Longing for adventure beyond the dales and moors, he found his way to BBC World Service, eventually becoming the Asia/Pacific editor. He’s travelled from Taiwan to North Korea, gathering news, and somewhere along the line a love affair began with China, willing him to master its official language, Mandarin, and compelling him to write a personal and astute account of a nation that is frequently misunderstood. First-hand experience of living in China through seven decades of change comes from Michael’s Chinese language teacher, who also just happens to be a cross-dresser. Listen in to this AWIL to hear more about Michael Bristow’s fascinating book – ‘China in Drag’ – and the creation of modern China.