Alec Ash


I have written widely, both magazine features and in books. Here are a few selected clippings:


Orphans of Progress

A longform feature about 'left-behind children' in rural China, and three generations of a single family, in The Economist's sister magazine 1843

gaokao student

The toughest school exam in the world

A long read following one Chinese high school student as he takes the gaokao college entrance exam, in the Guardian


Out of Tibet

A book chapter following a young Tibetan struggling to find his place in modern China, from Chinese Characters (UC Press, 2012), published in Danwei, part of the FT


Do Chinese Youth Dare to Care about Politics?

A deep dive into a question with profound importance as young Chinese come of age, in Dissent (Spring 2013 issue)


Hutong Neighbours

A memoir of living in Beijing's historic hutongs, where foreigners rub shoulders with locals, which appeared in While We're Here (Earnshaw Books, 2015)


The Red Guard and the Landlady

The narrative of a woman who grew up persecuting landlords, before China changed and she became one herself, in the Los Angeles Review of Books blog


A Marathon in Pyongyang

A radio dispatch from the 2016 Pyongyang marathon, for PRI's The World


Selected as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

"Compelling and beautifully written" – Prospect

"One of the best I have read" – FT

"Fascinating and insightful"
Paul French

"A talented young observer of today’s China"
Peter Hessler