Ma Jian's journey would last three years and take him to deserts and overpopulated cities, from scenes of barbarity to havens of tranquility and beauty. The result is an insight into the teeming contradictions of China that only a man who was both an insider and an outsider in his own country could have written.
Winner of Thomas Cook Travel Book Award 2002. Shortlisted for Thomas Cook Travel Book Award 2002.
"Honest, raw, insightful. . . . The Chinese equivalent of On the Road."
"[Ma's] powers of description make every page buzz with life. . . . Someone who could rank among the great travel writers."
--"The New York Times Book Review
"A Sino-beatnik travelogue, [and] a fascinating search for self."
""Red Dust is a tour de force, a powerfully picaresque cross between the sort of travel book any Western author would give his eye-teeth to write, and a disturbing confession."
--"The Independent "(UK)
""Ma captures the feel of wandering off China's beaten track, which is to say most of the country, far from the tour buses and souvenir stands."
--"Los Angeles Times"