Michael Meyer went to China in 1995 as one of its first Peace Corps volunteers. As the author of The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed, he received a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction, followed by a Guggenheim Fellowship. His second book, In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China won a Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book from the Society of American Travel Writers, as did the third book in his China trilogy, The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up. Meyer’s stories have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Slate, the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Architectural Record, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Iowa Review and on National Public Radio’s This American Life. He has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar award, the Berlin Prize, and residencies at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the MacDowell Colony, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy. He is a professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches nonfiction writing, as well as a popular travel writing course in London each summer.