This anecdotal record of a young man's encounter with the Chinese and their way of life offers unique insights to readers. Salzman had majored in Chinese literature at Yale, and his first job after graduation in 1982 was teaching English to students and teachers at Hunan Medical College in Changsha. He met this considerable challenge with sensitivity, humor, and imagination, and was quickly regarded with respect and affection. Salzman had studied martial arts since he was 13, and he continued his practice in Changsha, where one of China's foremost experts, Pan Qingfu, accepted him as a pupil. Readers will become aware of the many styles of the sport, and, incidentally, the real meaning of kung fu.'' The personalities encountered range from Salzman's students and teachers to calligraphers, peasants, fishermen, and bureaucrats. Each fascinating episode illuminates the way to a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and character.