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Iron and Silk (Vintage departures) [Paperback]

M. Salzman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Jun 1995 Vintage departures
Salzman captures post-cultural revolution China through his adventures as a young American English teacher in China and his shifu-tudi (master-student) relationship with China's foremost martial arts teacher.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; 1st Vintage Departures Ed edition (30 Jun 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394755111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394755113
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.3 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 413,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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For some reason I always had bad luck in Canton. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Bentley
"Iron and Silk" is a delightful book and film. I had the pleasure of reading the book awhile ago; but was delighted to see the film in a local Asian film festival in my community.

The author Mark Salzman plays Mark Franklin in the movie of the same name. It is a memoir (a true story) of Mark's travel and teaching experiences in China (Changsha, Hunan Province). The events took place during 1982 - 1984 and Mark became as much of a student of Chinese life, martial arts, calligraphy, tai chi as he was a teacher of the Middle Aged English Teachers (a group of Chinese Russian teachers at the Hunan Medical College who had been told to forget Russian and now learn English).

Mark always wanted to be a Kung Fu master growing up, and he took lessons from a local teacher; but always felt like the smallest kid on the block. From a young age, he loved all things Asian. His mother was a musician and his father a social worker; but he found that he had developed an exceptional talent for the cello. He was admitted to Yale at 16 because of his cello expertise; but soon decided that he would major in Chinese languages and philosophy (again not much of a surprise). As part of a Yale program, he found himself traveling to Changsha, Hunan Province, China to teach English to a group of Chinese Russian teachers who were being asked to retrain. For two (2) years he lived, taught and learned a great deal in China about the Chinese people and also about himself.

He always wanted to study martial arts from a true wushu master and was fortunate enough to find as his teacher, the grand master himself: Pan Qingfu (known as the Iron Fist). Pan was the best in the world and was known as the Iron Fist because he punched a heavy iron plate 10,000 times a day!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Iron and Silk 24 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'Iron and Silk' is not only a good book, it is also a good investment for anyone!
It is a story of the many divisions and differences between West and East (on this occasion, between America and China)and of how, by Force (Iron)man can live, but by Gentleness (Silk) man will survive.
Material things become more and more unimportant as Mark, being the author as well as the main character, learns, over two years in China, how much we all have to learn.
Great Book.
Brian Bain.
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Wonderful book, that charmingly describes a lot of sides to the China I know.
It is a great book if you want to learn more about China, behind the curtain, which few get to, or if you want to read small stories about the China you already know. The book will, no doubt, make you smile or laugh or wanna go back if you have already been there.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review 30 July 2009
By G. Ma
It took over 2 weeks for the book to arrive, but other than that no problem.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Salzman is eXpAt-tAcULar 7 Jun 2011
Mark Salzman was teaching English in China while the rest of us were still in Key Stage 2. His Bible-status memoir (and the movie based on it) is renowned for "opening the door" for future expats the world-over.
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