An extraordinary memoir of one woman's experiences in China.
Tessa Keswick first travelled to China in 1982 and immediately fell in love with its history, culture and landscape.
Over the next thirty years, she travelled extensively in China, visiting its temples and landmarks, the sites of its most famous battles, and the birthplaces of its best-known poets and philosophers. She also witnessed China's transformation, as hundreds of millions were lifted out of poverty and the country emerged as an economic superpower in waiting.
Keswick's observations of life in China are perceptive and full of insight. Her narrative is rich in microhistories of people encountered and places visited. By presenting a colourfully woven tapestry of contrasting experiences and localities, she allows the reader to glimpse the sheer diversity of China and its vast population.
A multi-textured and revealing survey of the world's largest country, as seen through one woman's eyes, The Colour of the Sky After Rain offers a compelling portrait of China in an age of radical change, and charts the key staging posts in its recent, remarkable history.
'Tessa Keswick provides joyous insights into her life with husband Sir Henry Keswick' Sunday Times.
'Keswick is an engaging, lively guide and she is at her best when writing about the Chinese landscape' Daily Mail.
'At precisely the time that we need to understand China more than ever, along comes a book that is incisive, honest, witty, and beautifully written which explains the Chinese people and society to a Western audience superbly. Impossible to categorize, The Colour of the Sky After Rain is part-memoir, part-travelogue, part-history, part-thoughtful musing, and packed with insights into the Chinese state and soul that forces us to look afresh at the world’s thrusting new superpower' Professor Andrew Roberts.
'If you want an enthralling read about China and to learn a lot about that extraordinary country at the same time, read Tessa Keswick's The Colour of the Sky After Rain. I derived so much pleasure and excitement from the story that I hardly noticed all the history I was imbibing. The Colour of the Sky aAter Rain is both serious and seriously entertaining. It is strongly recommended' Lady Antonia Fraser.
'The Colour of the Sky After Rain made me want at once to leap on to a plane and travel to Zhongdian, to Jiayuguan, to Suzhou, to Xinjiang (and on and on) ... I learnt a great deal from this book about the history of China over the millennia and especially over the last fifty years' Neil MacGregor.