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In The White Road, best-selling author and artist Edmund de Waal gives us an intimate narrative history of his lifelong obsession with porcelain, or "white gold". A potter who has been working with porcelain for more than 40 years, de Waal describes how he set out on five journeys to places where porcelain was dreamed about, refined, collected and coveted - and that would help him understand the clay's mysterious allure. From his studio in London, he starts by travelling to three "white hills" - sites in China, Germany, and England that are key to porcelain's creation. But his search eventually takes him around the globe and reveals more than a history of cups and figurines; rather, he is forced to confront some of the darkest moments of 20th-century history.
Part memoir, part history, part detective story, The White Road chronicles a global obsession with alchemy, art, wealth, craft, and purity. In a sweeping yet intimate style that recalls The Hare with the Amber Eyes, de Waal gives us a singular understanding of "the spectrum of porcelain" and the mapping of desire.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Elizabeth on 09-27-17
Marvelous and addictive
I am so pleased with the narrator - I immediately looked up all the other books that he has read. His voice is clear as a bell and the book itself is a delight. I would never have imagined the story of porcelain being quite so fascinating and now I find myself making my way to museums to admire their porcelain collections. I've been reading along with the physical book, which is also a treat because it's broken up into small paragraphs and divided into sections by moments of history or discovery - it's like reading a travel journal.
I will certainly be reading Edmund de Waal's other book, The Hare with Amber Eyes.
By Kindle Customer on 04-08-16
Don't Give This at Christmas
What would have made The White Road better?
The "Hare" was magnetic with the draw of family, 1890s Paris, Jewish families trading grain and the artifacts of brilliant life. The White Road had no grip; no life derived from the Hare.
What could Edmund de Waal have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
History, personality, emotional investment.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?