PERSONAL AND ORIENTAL by Austin Coates
Kirkus Star

PERSONAL AND ORIENTAL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With the charm of his first book, Invitation to an Feast, Mr. Coates rediscovers the Orient. Retracing his original journey in a reverse order he compares each place with its past and with its neighbor. We somehow tend to think of the Orient as a huge undifferentiated enigma; but the perceptive and careful characterizations of each country or city quickly dispel this notion. Japan, Hong Kong, Manila, Burma, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey -- they each have their distinct and unique feeling. Japan, -- the persistent aura of antiquity, quietude, and beauty in earthly perfection; Hong Kong, -- the city of commerce, bustling people and poverty; Manila, -- the excitement of the speeding automobiles and the dances; India, -- the evasiveness, the semblance of duplicity- these impressions are told not by a distant observer, but by a traveler whose sympathies are sincere and whose personal attachments are many. Visiting old friends and making new ones, the East is for Mr. Coates an inexhaustible source of personal growth and objective interest. Where it is appropriate, historical facts are introduced but on the whole the book is one of impressions and feelings documented by anecdotes and experiences.

Pub Date: June 12th, 1957
Publisher: Harper