Category Archives: On the Desk

American Shaolin

Matthew Polly’s American Shaolin is thus far filled with wonderful conversation. Polly has spoken with a Beijing cabdriver and a Zheng Zhou key girl named Moon. The talk is very similar which, in many ways, diversifies and develops the narrative. The dialogue is planted with irony.

“What country are you from?”


“America is a great country. Very powerful. Not like China.”

“But China has advanced rapidly,” I said.

“No, it is inadequate. It will take seventy years before it is acceptible.”

“I have heard it will only take fifty years.”

“Who told you that?”

“A cab driver in Beijing.”