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published: Sep 2016

Barbarian Lost

Travels in the New China

by Alexandre Trudeau

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personal memoirs, essays & travelogues, china
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published: Sep 2016

To this day, China remains an enigma. Ancient, complex and fast moving, it defies easy understanding.

Ever since he was a boy, Alexandre Trudeau has been fascinated by this great county. Recounting his experiences in the China of recent years, Trudeau visits artists and migrant workers, townspeople and rural farmers. Often accompanied by a young Chinese journalist, Vivien, he explores realities caught in time between the China of our memories and the thrust of progress. The China he seeks out lurks in hints and shadows. It flickers dimly amidst all the glare and noise. The people he encounters along the way give up but small secrets yet each revelation comes as a surprise that jolts us from our preconceived ideas and forces us to challenge our most secure notions.

Barbarian Lost, Trudeau’s first book, is an insightful and witty account of the dynamic changes going on right now in China, as well as a look back into the deeper history of this highly codified society. On the ground with the women and men who make China tick., Trudeau shines new light on the country as only a traveller with his storytelling abilities could.

About the Author

Alexandre Trudeau

Alexandre Emmanuel "Sacha" Trudeau is a Canadian filmmaker, journalist and author of Barbarian Lost. He is the second son of Canada's former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and Margaret Trudeau, and the younger brother of Canada's current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Author profile page >
Editorial Reviews

“An on-the-ground, agenda-free enquiry into a place that does not reveal its essence easily.”

— <em>Montreal Gazette</em>

“With a journalist’s curiosity and a novelist’s eloquence, Alexandre Trudeau paints a fascinating portrait of a new China struggling to be born. Barbarian Lost is at times funny, insightful, and unsettling.”

— Mellissa Fung, author of <em>Under an Afghan Sky</em>

“An insightful and witty account of the dynamic changes going on right now in China.”

— CBC Books

“Alexandre Trudeau’s book adds useful meaning to [the] raging debate over China’s future.”

— <em>Toronto Star</em>

“Alexandre Trudeau has a keen eye for contradiction, a novelist’s gift for dialogue, and a fly-on-the-wall detachment that is both austere and engrossing. At turns provocative, hilarious and moving, this book is a must-read for all Canadians.”

— Robert Wright, author of <em>Our Man in Tehran</em>

“A fascinating, deeply compelling and thought-provoking glimpse of the China so many seek to comprehend. This articulate, erudite and most experienced traveller spares neither his subject nor himself . . . An eminently readable and highly entertaining sojourn.”

— Robert R. Fowler, author of <em>A Season in Hell</em>

“A soulful, honest exploration of the endless enigma that China offers all its visitors. . . . But it is the honesty and humility in sketching his own journey that transcends this traveller’s tale and what makes the book so compelling.”

— John Fraser, author of <em>The Chinese: Portrait of a People</em> and <em>Stolen China</em>

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