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About the book
  • Published: 30 September 2011
  • ISBN: 9781407029986
  • Imprint: Ebury Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 544


The story of China told through the lives of an extraordinary family

A living history of China told through the story of one remarkable family

Frank Ching brings to life 900 years of Chinese history through his own fascinating family tree. Beginning with his search for the grave of his first recorded ancestor, the 11th century poet Qin Guan, and ending with a moving account of his relationship with his father, a victim of China's historic upheaval, Frank Ching introduces a colourful cast of characters. His unbroken family line includes - among many others - a lovelorn concubine, a traitor, a military hero, an imperial ghost-writer, a minister of punishments and a woman noted for her skills in both verse and martial arts. There is scarcely an aspect of Chinese life, from shamanism to violent rebellion, that Ching doesn't touch upon in this fascinating work. Through his vivid and personal portraits of his ancestors the history of China itself unfolds: from the days of the ancient empire to its radical transformation today.

  • Pub date: 30 September 2011
  • ISBN: 9781407029986
  • Imprint: Ebury Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 544

About the Author

Frank Ching

Frank Ching was educated at Columbia University in New York, then worked as a journalist for the New York Times before setting up the Wall Street Journal's first bureau in Beijing in 1979. Later, after nine years on the Far Eastern Economic Review he moved to the South China Morning Post as Senior Columnist. For twelve years, he hosted the weekly current affairs tv programme 'Newsline' on the World channel of Asia Television. He lives in Hong Kong.

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Praise for Ancestors

“A stunning accomplishment...Frank Ching brings to life the last nine centuries of Chinese history and culture as almost no other work in the English language has done”

Orville Schell, New York Times

“[An] extraordinary quest through 900 dramatic years of ancestral history”

Jonathan Mirsky

“Almost a millennium of Chinese history, reduced to a human scale”

London Review of Books

“Fascinating...The story of China's survival”

Wall Street Journal

“A tour de force”

Washington Post

“Delightful...a tour de force of the cyclical rise and fall of China”

Steve Tsang, Far Eastern Review

“Not only a fascinating account of an extraordinary family...but provides a vivid picture of nearly a thousand years of history.”

John Gittings, author of The Changing Face of China

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