Peter Hessler

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Peter Hessler (b. June 14, 1969) is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of three books about China, River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (2001), Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present (2006), and Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory (2010).

Early life

Peter Hessler grew up in Columbia, Missouri and graduated from Hickman High School in 1988. His father was a sociology professor at the University of Missouri, and his mother teaches history at Columbia College, Missouri. He became interested in literature and writing while in high school. He went on to study English and creative writing at Princeton University, where, during his junior year, he took John McPhee's renowned writing seminar. Hessler graduated in 1992 and won a Rhodes Scholarship to study English language and literature at the University of Oxford.

The summer before graduating from Princeton, Hessler worked as a researcher for the Kellogg Foundation in southeastern Missouri. He wrote an extensive ethnography about a small town called Sikeston. It was published in the Journal for Applied Anthropology.


Hessler joined the Peace Corps in 1996 and was sent to...
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