Will Buckingham, "Sixty-Four Chance Pieces: A Book of Changes" (Earnshaw Books, 2015)


Will Buckingham's new book is a wonderful cycle of stories that are inspired by and speak back to the Chinese Yijing, the Classic of Changes. Sixty-Four Chance Pieces: A Book of Changes (Earnshaw Books, 2015) collects 64 stories, one for each hexagram in the Yijing. Each story is introduced by a brief commentary that frames it, and these commentaries offer fascinating insights into the significance and genesis of the stories: they relate to aspects of the hexagrams that inspired them, Buckingham's own travels and experience, research into Yijing scholarship and other aspects of Chinese studies, a broader universe of storytellers and their stories, and more. The pages of Sixty-Four Chance Pieces: A Book of Changes (Earnshaw Books, 2015) are full of amazing characters - emperors! Leibniz! windowsill gods! a bear on a bicycle! a smile artist! Fu Xi! - and it is difficult to put down once you start reading. The stories themselves are wonderful to read on their own, and Will generously read three of them for us on the podcast. Go get yourself a copy: not only is it a great read, but it would make a great addition to a syllabus for university instructor who's interested in assigning an example of a really inventive way to read and work with a classical Chinese text. Enjoy

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