Paperback / softback
October 20, 2014
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.2 Pounds (US)
$29.95 USD, £22.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Swallowing Clouds, second edition

A Playful Journey through Chinese Culture, Language, and Cuisine

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."

About the Authors

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.


"In this lyrical work, theoretical physicist Zee steps outside his specialty to write about his true loves—Chinese cooking, language, and culture. Zee's format is elegant: he takes a common food on the menu of any Chinese American restaurant, explicates the Chinese characters designating the food, and relates charming anecdotes and history associated with the food."—Kirkus Reviews

"Charming. . . . A study of the very nature of Chinese culture. Zee has a quirky, personal style that draws the reader in."—Anne Tyler, Washington Post Book World

"The most delightful food book of the year, . . . a happy blending of instruction and amusement in the language, culture, and cuisine of China."—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Interesting and unique. . . . Family anecdotes, folklore, and good sketches help the author present a new understanding and meaning behind this rich and complex cuisine."—Christian Science Monitor

"A truly delightful literary compendium of wit, wisdom, and how-to."—Newsday

"Included in bestselling book 1,000 Books to Read before You Die: A Life-Changing List by Jim Mustich."—


"A delightful and rewarding book for anybody. . . . For the even mildly curious, Swallowing Clouds is almost essential foreplay, not just to one but to a lifetime of good Chinese meals."—James Barber, The Urban Peasant
University of Washington Press
second edition

9780295994208 : swallowing-clouds-2nd-edition-zee-feng
Paperback / softback
386 Pages
$29.95 USD

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