River Town documents Peter Hessler’s Peace Corps teaching assignment in Fuling. The reason he chose Fuling is just like one of my teachers, who don’t like megacities which full of laowai:
I longed to figure out how the city worked and what the people thought, especially since no foreigner had done this before. It wasn’t like living in Beijing or Shanghai, where there were plenty of waiguoren who had discovered what the city had to offer. As far as foreigners were concerned, Fuling was our city—or it would be once we figured it out.
– River Town
Although what the book covers are more than twenty years ago and China has developed rapidly in these years, the people and the culture are still the same. He has witnessed two important events happened in China during that time: the construction of the Three Gorges Dam and the Handover of Hong Kong. I don’t know much about them either.