Filmmaker Zhu Rikun is homeless. Not literally, but in a philosophical way. “I still continue my job as a filmmaker,” he says. “I just feel homeless. I don’t feel any home anywhere, in China or the United States.” Good for NYC, bad for Beijing: Beijing Indy film festival opening this month in NYC. @AngShah reports, […]
It’s not that the concept of Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints is complex: two volumes tell the story of the Boxer Rebellion from two perspectives. But within this simple structure, Yang’s graphic novels build a compelling story around a war of identity, set 100 years ago in China. It combines mysticism with the very […]
Had the good fortune to talk about Chinese Characters, the book of essays about everyday life in China that I co-edited with Jeff Wasserstrom, with Lisa Napoli on KCRW in Los Angeles. Here’s our chat: Lisa wrote in the Which Way, LA blog: “There’s lots of news each day from and about China, but it’s rare that any of […]
If Chinese Characters is about telling the stories of everyday life in China, China Stories is explicitly a way to think about how we tell and hear those stories. Historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom and I teamed up again to curate and edit this e-book volume of reviews and analyses for the Los Angeles Review of Books. The cover […]
In the Los Angeles Review of Books: In part 2 of this interview, Rob Schmitz talks more about factory workers in China, the vast system of netting installed at factory dormitories to cut back on worker suicides, the problems with and opportunities for doing responsible journalism in China, and his book recommendations. Listen here.
In the Los Angeles Review of Books: “Rob Schmitz is the Shanghai bureau chief for American Public Media’s Marketplace. He broke the story about Mike Daisey, showing that Daisey’s reporting on Chinese factory workers for This American Life was full of fabrication. He talks here with Angilee Shah about that story, about reporting in China, […]
These days, Rob is in the news for debunking the Mike Daisey Foxconn investigation that aired on This American Life. We’ll be talking about that story and his other reporting on China for American Public Media’s Marketplace radio program at UCLA on April 17. Is there something you want me to ask? Please leave your questions in […]
The collection of essays about everyday lives in China that I have been working on for about two years made its pre-publication debut in China at the M Literary Festival. Chinese Characters contributors Evan Osnos, Ian Johnson, Michelle Loyalka, Christina Larson and my co-editor Jeffrey Wasserstrom spoke on the “Art of the Profile” at a Beijing panel discussion earlier this month. […]
Every time they fly in and out of Mumbai, tourists, businesspeople, and politicians can see blue-tarp and cardboard rooftops squeezed between condominiums and luxury hotels. The irony of Mumbai’s slums is that the urban poor are ubiquitous, simultaneously visible and invisible. But seeing slums from the perspective of those who inhabit them — and not […]
The book I am co-editing with China historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom will be published next year by UC Press. In the meantime, we’ve started a Tumblr to highlight the work of contributors and provide updates, Enjoy!