Iron & Silk review

This book is a memoir of an English teacher in China, so a parallel to Peter Hessler is easily made. Mark Salzman’s book could have been the more interesting one, because he lived in China in the early 80s. Both Iron & Silk and River Town consist of loose stories, but Hessler binds them together with a literary angle — literature in that it touches more parts of humanity, rather than just being a story or a bundle of anecdotes. The whole focus is different. Hessler writes about the city and observes it, while in Salzman’s book, he himself is his own main character (as in the movie he made about the book). It is perhaps unfair of me to compare these books, but to me the flaws and strengths stand out so clearly in comparison. Iron & Silk isn’t a bad book, but in comparison I’ve learned a lot about writing these two books. I’d mainly recommend this book if you’re interested in martial arts.