Christopher Beam

  • Studies Abroad

    After living in China for more than a decade, what struck Peter Hessler most upon returning to the US was the way Americans talk. The Chinese “aren’t natural storytellers—they are often deeply modest, and they dislike being at the center of attention.” The Chinese conversational style suits Hessler, whose trademark reporting method could be dubbed Extreme Patience: When he finds a new place, he likes to settle in for what most people would consider an unreasonably long time. At one point in Strange Stones, Hessler’s meticulous, deep-dive collection of essays from China and beyond, he refers