Synopsis "Descendents of the Dragon," the Chinese often call themselves. Like its mythic ancestor, the mighty dragon, China is a land that invites superlatives. The oldest living civilization. The fourth largest country. The most populous nation in the world... In this fascinating portrait of the face of modern China, we are given a sense of the diversity of peoples, languages, religions, landscapes, weather, flora and fauna-as well as a glimpse of some of the great engineering feats, cultural traditions, and natural wonders for which the Dragon is famous: The Great Wall that marked the boundaries of the Chinese empire The hordes of terra cotta warriors, unearthed in Xian The Forbidden City in Beijing The regional varieties of Chinese cuisine The martial arts and the healing arts The beauty of calligraphy, considered the highest form of visual art Biography Samantha Austin currently lives in London and recently spent over a year living and working on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau of Western China, where she lectured at Qinghai Normal University in English and anthropology. Samantha has an extensive background in social and cultural studies. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her master's degree in medical anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. This is her first book.