Chinese Writing and Calligraphy
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280pp. May 2010
Chinese Writing and Calligraphy
Author: Li, Wendan;
Suitable for college and high school students and those learning on their own, this fully illustrated coursebook provides comprehensive instruction in the history and practical techniques of Chinese calligraphy. No previous knowledge of the language is required to follow the text or complete the lessons.

The work covers three major areas: 1) descriptions of Chinese characters and their components, including stroke types, layout patterns, and indications of sound and meaning; 2) basic brush techniques; and 3) the social, cultural, historical, and philosophical underpinnings of Chinese calligraphy—all of which are crucial to understanding and appreciating this art form.

Students practice brush writing as they progress from tracing to copying to free-hand writing. Model characters are marked to indicate meaning and stroke order, and well-known model phrases are shown in various script types, allowing students to practice different calligraphic styles. Beginners will find the author’s advice on how to avoid common pitfalls in writing brush strokes invaluable.

Chinese Writing and Calligraphy will be welcomed by both students and instructors in need of an accessible text on learning the fundamentals of the art of writing Chinese characters.

132 illus.


A Latitude 20 Book
“If it is the case that every extended program of Chinese Studies should offer a course on the history and practice of calligraphy, so critical traditionally was the art in cultural terms, then the book under review is probably the ideal textbook. . . . [It is] an approachable and engaging introduction to the ‘Way of Writing.’ Informed by much of the best recent scholarship in Chinese and English in the field, the book is nonetheless written in a manner that would make it appropriate for students studying Chinese both in their final years at high school and in their early undergraduate years at university.” —New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies (12:2, 2011)
Author: Li, Wendan;
Wendan Li is associate professor of Chinese language and linguistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Read the table of contents and/or the introduction (PDF).



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