by Andrew Demetre
An arresting, evocative travelogue, Drinking and Driving in Urumqi is the debut nonfiction book by American author Andrew Demetre. A spirit of adventure and nimble prose carry the reader through a sudden, precarious night out into the obfuscated culture of the riot-scarred capital of Xinjiang, China’s remotest province, as Demetre becomes the unmonitored, unofficial guest of a local family and Uyghur minority Chinese Communist Party members. Within a narrative mixing elements of memoir and reportage, the author balances a journalist’s eye for detail with the sensibilities of a novelist and captures an evocative portrait of a place, a time, and its characters–most notably the troubled mood and texture of the wounded city, along with a captivating depiction of Rihangul, a liberated Uyghur woman straddling disparate worlds.
As usual I haven’t read the book but I did listen to an interview with the author and I think we have very similar tastes in music lol. But more importantly, he reads a little excerpt from the book which I really enjoyed, so you can check that out here.