An unforgettable portrait of individuals who hope, struggle, and grow along a single street cutting through the heart of China’s most exhilarating metropolis, from one of the most acclaimed broadcast journalists reporting on China today. Check out early praise below!


Street of Eternal Happiness is a marvel of place-based reporting. This single road illuminates the complexities, contradictions, and funny wonder of today’s China. This book is really about family—the most eternal force on any street in the country.”—Peter Hessler, author of River Town, Country DrivingOracle Bones, and Strange Stones


“Rob Schmitz has given us a treasure: a patient portrait of an impatient country, a China that is utterly true to life in its beauty and heartache, tenderness and greed. His story is told in real lives that are, like Shanghai itself, modern and imperfect, romantic and ruthlessly practical. Reading this is as close as most people will come to living there.”—Evan Osnos, National Book Award winning author of Age of Ambition


“This beautifully conceived and written book conveys the joys, the tragedies, the comedy, and the vivid humanity of modern China. No one will talk about ‘China’s rise’ or ‘the China model’ in the same way after reading it, and years from now people will turn to this book to understand the China of this era.”—James Fallows, author of China Airborne and Postcards from Tomorrow Square

“Schmitz peels back the layers of a single street to discover ambition, reinvention, faith, corruption, murder, and heartbreak. In this intimate and revealing book, a two-mile stretch of road embodies the dreams and dramas of modern China.”—Leslie T. Chang, author of Factory Girls

“Rob Schmitz is a master storyteller who leads his readers into the heart and history of modern China. Street of Eternal Happiness is, in turn, funny, moving, tragic and—ultimately—emotionally satisfying. Nobody can pretend to understand Shanghai and contemporary China without reading it.”—Adam Minter, author of Junkyard Planet


“A kaleidoscope of Chinese history, from famine and Cultural Revolution to one-child policy. Above all, these tales illustrate the perils and hopes of living the Chinese Dream, written with penetrating insight and charming fluidity. A delight.”—Mei Fong, Pulitzer Prize winner for International Reporting and author of One Child

“Schmitz paints a vivid canvas of [Shanghai] from the perspective of one big city street that neatly encapsulates the myriad aspirations of one country and its people…a thoroughfare of aspirations and dreams, hard earned successes and sadly thwarted hopes.”—Paul French, author of Midnight in Peking and Fat China

“At last, an intimate look at daily life in contemporary, convivial Shanghai. All great cities have a great book that captures their rise or fall; Street of Eternal Happiness is Shanghai’s.”—Michael Meyer, author of In Manchuria and The Last Days of Old Beijing

“Rob Schmitz has crafted a deeply empathetic marvel of a book. Alternately poignant and humorous, it has much to offer anyone who has been to Shanghai, thought about going there but not made it yet, or simply wants to get a better feel for the rhythms of life in twenty-first century China.”—Jeffrey Wasserstrom, editor of the Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China and author of China in the 21st Century

“Authentic, boisterous, convincing, dynamic, energizing; the street stretching on, each window a non-fiction tale more fantastic than fiction in the dramatic, almost unbelievable transformation of Chinese society in its contemporary history. Reading Street of Eternal Happiness cannot but compel a Shanghai-born Shanghainese like me into a trip back to the city in this global age.”Qiu Xiaolong, author of Shanghai Redemption and Death of a Red Heroine

Request an eGalley on Edelweiss.

#FridayReads: Street of Eternal Happiness

Category: Holds AlertReviewsWhat We're Reading

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *