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“Friends of Xiamen” Book Club 2023: Off the Wall Experience in China Call for Entry

Launched on April 25, the “Friends of Xiamen” Book Club 2023 picks Off the Wall: How We Fell for China by Professor Bill Brown as its first read to offer a glimpse of a foreigner’s experience in China from the 1980s to the 2010s.

The book, published by Foreign Languages Press on December 22, 2018, is compiled from roughly 47 letters that the author sent to his family and friends in the United States. The letters detail, in a humorous tone, how life has changed in Xiamen City since China initiated its reform and opening up drive.

The Book Club, hosted by Xiamen People’s Association with Friendship with Foreign Countries, aims to enhance mutual understanding among friends around the world through review sharing and online exchanges. Invites have been sent out to Xiamen’s sister cities, including Baltimore and Sarasota in the US, Wellington in New Zealand, the Sunshine Coast in Australia and Richmond in Canada, as well as educational institutions in Wellington, Sydney and Xiamen.

Readers are welcome to join the Book Club and interact with the author by posting questions, reviews, and photos/videos on social networks and sending screenshots of the posts to by May 20. A Meet the Author event will be held on May 26 (GMT+8).

Professor Bill Brown (William N. Brown)

Born in the US in 1956, Professor Bill Brown never dreamed that in 1988 he’d move with his wife and sons 100 miles across the Taiwan Strait and settle down in Xiamen, Fujian Province. Since 1988, Bill has been teaching at Xiamen University’s Center for Business Administration Education. He is the author of Off the Wall: How We Fell for China, Magic Amoy, Magic Fujian, and many other books. He writes prolifically on the culture and socioeconomic development in Xiamen and China as a whole with witty language and a lot of humorous tales.

Bill’s hobbies include magic (Professional Member of Hollywood’s Magic Castle), travel (he’s driven over 200,000 km. around China, including through the Gobi Desert and Tibet), music (guitar and sitar), reading, writing and rock collecting.

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