Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Credit: Karen Mardahl, Creative Commons It starts strangely, for a book about New York: “Confucius once said that after he had reached forty years of age he had no more perplexities. I am now well over the halfway point of my life-span and yet introspection makes me more bewildered every day.” But then everything about the book seemed peculiar: its rice-colored spine shone like a snaggletooth among all of the red ones lining the Strand’s China shelves. After moving from Beijing to New York — bewildered, homesick and unexpectedly unemployed — I regularly haunted that section of the bookstore, fraternizing with the texts. This book, however, looked mis-shelved: the bright cover showed a watercolor not of the Forbidden City or Great Wall, but of Central Park’s Gapstow Bridge. Its title was equally unexpected: The Silent Traveller in New York. Published in 1950, the book had actually been a best-seller, the latest in a series written over four decades by the Chinese fSubscribe or register to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.