The Silent Traveller Returns! Distinguished author, artist, calligrapher, and poet Chiang Yee wrote and illustrated a dozen “Silent Traveller” books, from 1937-1972. The second to focus on an American city was The Silent Traveller in Boston, originally published in 1959. Long out-of-print, the book captures Mr. Chiang’s quiet and observant views, a new take on an old city, from Beacon Hill to the Fenway, from Copley Square to Jamaica Pond. Mr. Chiang travels further afield to neighboring towns on Cape Cod & the Islands, as well as to Concord, Salem, Rockport, and Plymouth. Illustrated with 16 color and 60 black-and-white illustrations by Mr. Chaing, the book presents a city that is both fresh and familiar. The reader who knows all about Boston will find new charms; the reader who knows only a little will find an urbane guide with a warm regard for the traditional and a refreshing interest in the human side of the city’s past and present. “This not-so-silent travel book is more than a pleasant guide for perceptive, leisurely tourists, more than an attractive piece of bookmaking; it is a guide to understanding.” ―The New York Times Book Review
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Although Chiang Yee, born in Jiujiang, China in 1903, was trained as a chemist in Nanking, and served as governor of four districts under the Chinese Nationalist regime, he came to discover that painting, rather than politics and chemistry, was his true interest. In 1933 he left China for England and began writing and illustrating books on Chinese painting, calligraphy, poetry, and family life. He was also absorbing and analyzing his new surroundings, and during a holiday in England’s lake district he wrote and illustrated The Silent Traveller in Lakeland, the first of his dozen Silent Traveller books. Mr. Chiang lived in England until 1955, when he moved to the United States. For two decades he was a lecturer, and eventually Emeritus Professor of Chinese, at Columbia University, except for a period in 1958-1959 when he was Emerson Fellow in Poetry at Harvard University. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1966. Chiang Yee died in China in 1977 and is buried on the slopes of Lu-Shan above his hometown.
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