Physics professor Zee writes about how to understand the menus in Chinese restaurants, explaining the characters, what they mean, and the colorful stories behind the names of various dishes. Anne Tyler (in the Washington Post) called Swallowing Clouds "a study of the very nature of Chinese culture. Zee has a quirky, personal style that draws the reader in."
Replaces ISBN 9780295981918
A. Zee is professor of theoretical physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics and An Old Man's Toy: Gravity at Work and Play in Einstein's Universe.
PrefaceTime LineA Word about PronunciationIntroduction Beijing Men Built a FireSlicing through Water Interlude 1: Phonetics, or Why Some Characters Look Horribly Complicated Sleep of the Truly InebriatedSwallowing CloudsChinese Pigs Stand Interlude 2: The Appalling Ignorance of Some Scribes A Delicacy for Aging MenNo Contest between Fish and a Bear with Eight LegsCourtesans Do Not Eat Crabs Interlude 3: To All You Carnivores The Sweet Fragrance of Crops RipeningHow to Avoid Being VulgarThe Pockmarked Woman and the Pearly Empress Interlude 4: Words Are Like Our Children Buddha Jumping over WallsAct without Acting, Taste without Tasting Interlude 5: Like Eating Potato Chips The Sublime Faith in IllusionsPieces of Her HeartElixirs and the Food of HealthFrom Banquets to Voyages of Discovery Epilogue: All Banquets Must Come to an End Afterword by Linda Rui Feng Appendix A. How to Exercise Your Arm and Throat while DrinkingAppendix B. A Few RecipesNotesBibliographyTable of DynastiesTable of Some Common Radicals Used in this BookTable of Characters and Radicals Cited by ChapterAcknowledgmentsA Final Note