Book details

Publication date: February 2012
Features: Over 50 B&W photographs, notes, index
Keywords: Political Memoir;Foreign Relations;China Studies
Subject(s): BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Political, Creative Writing, Creative Writing / Auto/biography & Memoir, Area Studies, Area Studies / Asian Studies, Political Memoir / Foreign Relations / China Studies, HISTORY / Asia / China, Asian history, Political Memoir;Foreign Relations;China Studies, Biography, Political Science
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Brian L. Evans. Brian L. Evans, CM, studied Chinese and Chinese history at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and later served with the Canadian Embassy in Beijing. He was Professor of Chinese History at the University of Alberta (1961–1996). In his retirement, Brian Evans devoted himself to recording and preserving the stories of Alberta’s Chinese pioneer immigrants. He lived in Edmonton until his death in 2016.

"General Odlum is among the great many diplomats, journalists, spies, scholars and Old China Hands who populate Pursuing China by Brian L. Evans, a pioneer in the growth of Chinese studies in Canadian universities and, later, a junior diplomat himself. His book makes compelling reading..." George Fetherling, Diplomat and International Canada, Summer 2012

Alison Redford quoted in the Globe today on what she is reading: "Pursuing China: Memoir of a Beaver Liaison Officer, by Brian Evans, because the author is a great Canadian from Alberta who tells his life story, which includes the early days of China and Alberta's relations in the 1970s, and because this relationship matters so much to us again more than 30 years later."

"Over the decades, Evans has witnessed China's extraordinary evolution, from early years Chairman Mao to the terrors of the Cultural Revolution, to its tentative opening the West, to its metamorphosis as a global economic superpower. Through it all, he's never lost his love for China, its history, its food, and its people, a romance that began back in Taber, when his best friend was Herbert How, whose parents ran the Chinese café. That love story is the backbone of Evans's latest book, Pursuing China: Memoir of a Beaver Liaison Officer. It's no dry academic tome. Instead, Evans mixes his analysis of China's history and geopolitics with raucous yarns, recounting his personal adventures and misadventures, at home and abroad." Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal

As a memoirist, Evans has two great strengths. The first is his sense of humour, which brings us several wonderful anecdotes.... Evans' second strength is his unflinching honesty.... The main title of this book is Pursuing China. It is a fitting title. It sums up for so many of us who have had the good fortune to be in this field how fascinating and endlessly tantalizing the study of China is." Diana Lary, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 85, No. 4 [full article at]

#4 on the Edmonton Journal's Non-fiction Bestsellers list for the week of May 17, 2013

Evans, a former cultural counselor at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, China, and a former professor of Chinese history, combines his own experiences and recollections with history to describe China's cultural outreach over the past five decades." Book News Inc., 2013

ISBNs: 9780888646002 978-0-88864-600-2 Title: pursuing china