Jan-Philipp Sendker biography

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Jan-Philipp Sendker
Photo: Frank Suffert

Jan-Philipp Sendker

Jan-Philipp Sendker Biography

Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Wall, a nonfiction book about China. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, his first novel, was an international bestseller. He lives in Berlin with his family.



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Interview

Jan-Philipp Sendker describes the haunting true story that inspired Whispering Shadows, his first novel set in China

The Chinese don't cry. Afraid of losing face, their expressions are impassive, impossible to read. They guard their emotions carefully, especially in front of foreigners.  Or so I had thought before I met Wu Ming.

On first sight he was the perfect representative of the new, modern, sophisticated China, which is how the country likes to see and portray itself.  A tall, good looking and worldly lawyer in his early fifties, he was energetic and well-dressed in an Armani suit.  His English had a slight British accent, a reminder of his studies in the UK. Though soft spoken, he seemed very self assured.

We shared a passion for classical music and enjoyed each other's company. It was our sixth or seventh meeting. On this particular day, we were driving in his German built limousine through Shanghai, listening to Mozart.

Later we sat in his office on the Bund overlooking Pudong, one of the most prestigious addresses in the city, talking about his childhood in Sichuan Province, when suddenly tears began running down his cheeks.  Within seconds Wu Ming was sobbing like a small child.

Earlier, we had discussed his family during the Cultural Revolution. His father, a local party leader, had ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Jan-Philipp Sendker at BookBrowse
The Language of Solitude jacket Whispering Shadows jacket The Art of Hearing Heartbeats jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Jan-Philipp Sendker but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • John Burdett

    John Burdett

    John Burdett is a nonpracticing lawyer who worked in Hong Kong for a British firm until he found his true vocation as a writer. Since then, he has lived in France and Spain, and Thailand and is now back in Hong Kong. His ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Whispering Shadows

    Try:
    Bangkok Tattoo
    by John Burdett

  • Leslie T. Chang

    Leslie T. Chang

    Leslie T. Chang lived in China for a decade as a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, specializing in stories that explored how socioeconomic change is transforming institutions and individuals. She has also written for... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Whispering Shadows

    Try:
    Factory Girls
    by Leslie T. Chang

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