Pilar’s memoir of her trip through China as a 21-year-old is a look back at a very different country and a barely remembered manner of travel. In 1988, travelers could not use the web to check reviews on youth hostels and restaurants, sightseeing spots, or train schedules. Google Earth was not around to provide a close-up look at destinations, and no one was carrying a smartphone to make the journey easier. In 1988, Pilar hopped on a train from Hong Kong into China with no guidebook or language skills and no idea what was ahead of her. On her journey of self-discovery, Pilar learns about herself as she wanders through China, forming connections with trekkers from around the world and with the Chinese people she meets. Based on Pilar’s journal entries, the reconstructed conversations are creative and add life to her tale. One year before Tiananmen Square, China in 1988 is in the midst of change, and Pilar reflects the conflict of some of the people she encounters.
Verdict This title is a nice addition to women’s studies readings as it chronicles the kind of travel undertaken with a tattered map and the recommendations of students met on trains.—Library Journal*
* I kept the reviewer’s name private as this is a subscription-only periodical with librarians and academics in mind.
If you want to read my story, I’d love for you to order it from an local bookstore and ask your library to add it to their collection.
Softcover: $18.99. ISBN: 978-0-9904251-9-9
there are 18 black and white photographs I took while there, an index, recommended reading, movies, and music from the book. I hand-drew the map.