"Seth Faison writes with the candor of a good friend just back from a life-changing journey and eager to share all the intimate details. His daring honesty about himself deepens and enriches this personal odyssey to the true heart of the Middle Kingdom. As Faison peels back the layers of China's "inscrutable" facade, he reveals a society seething with change and longing, cultural ambivalence and individual courage."
- Aimee Liu, author of Cloud Mountain, Face, and Flash House
"Seth Faison is a witness to history---both Chinese, and his own. He brings us to Tiananmen Square, to Shanghai, to Tibet---but even more grippingly, he brings us inside his human heart. As Faison learns the secrets of China, as one of the few Western reporters on the scene, he gains insight on its many mysteries. In the end, though, South of the Clouds' most remarkable achievement is the way it shows us a man coming to understand the mystery of his own passion. Generous, sweet, and mesmerizing."
- Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There
"Seth Faison's South of the Clouds, the autobiographical tale of a young man who finds himself in a foreign land, brings alive the China of the 1980s and 1990s, a place that has already ceased to exist. He evokes the day-to-day peculiarities and fascinations of life as a foreigner in a Chinese world and provides a wealth of detail about historic events and times ranging from Hong Kong before the handover to China to the Tiananmen crackdown. Faison's work goes beyond his life as a New York Times reporter to reflect upon his personal experience in places as varied as cosmopolitan Shanghai, small-town massage parlors, and the mountains of Tibet."
- Deirdre Chetham, executive director of Harvard University's Asia Center and author of Before the Deluge: The Vanishing World of the Yangtze's Three Gorges