Port Townsend author to recount his travels along Yellow River in China


In his book, "Yellow River Odyssey," award-winning author and translator Bill Porter, who is also known by his pen name, Red Pine, follows the Yellow River, the world's sixth longest river, from its mouth to its source high in the Tibetan Plateau, a journey of more than 3,000 miles through nine Chinese provinces.

The trip takes him into what was once the cradle of Chinese civilization and to the hometowns and graves of such historical figures as Confucius, Mencius, Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu.

Porter, who lives in Port Townsend, shares his book at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at Village Books, 1200 11th St.

Already a bestseller in China, "Yellow River Odyssey" reveals a complex, fascinating, contradictory country. Porter digs beneath China's present-day materialism and the deep wounds of the Cultural Revolution to get at the roots of Chinese culture. The book also includes more than 50 black-and-white photographs taken by Porter.

He is considered one of the foremost translators of Chinese texts, especially Buddhist and Taoist poetry and sutras. He also is the author of "Zen Baggage and Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits."

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