Reviews
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The Great Waal of China

By Christina Patterson, The Sunday Times Magazine
13 September 2015

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The White Road is a cultural history of porcelain, but it's also, as it's subtitle says, "a pilgrimage of sorts"...to the places where porcelain was invented, or reinvented.

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A Terrible Beauty

By A.S. Byatt, The Spectator
19 September 2015

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De Waal's The White Road finds the history of porcelain manufacture shrouded in secrecy and littered with terrible disasters.

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The Strange Alchemy of Porcelain

By Sam Anderson, The New York Times Magazine
25 November 2015

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Coming from a more orthodox mind, de Waal’s stories, and his pots, might have turned out to be dull, dry, obscure, conventional and neatly contained. Instead, they are poetic and sprawling. The White Road is a verbal extension of his lifelong work in ceramics. The writing and the porcelain are inseparable now; they lean on one another like the inside and outside of a pot.

Press Archive

Edmund De Waal : The white road 'Mountains of porcelain'

buecherrezensionen
30 December 2016

Edmund de Waal, geboren 1964 in Nottingham, ist Professor, Autor und Keramiker. Sein 2010 erschie­nenes litera­risches Erstlings­werk »The Hare with the Amber Eyes« (dt.: »Der Hase mit den Bern­stein­augen«, 2011) [› Rezension], die sehr persönliche Geschichte seiner jüdischen Familie und ihrer Netsuke-Sammlung, machte ihn inter­national berühmt und wurde zum Welt­best­seller.

The White Road: the sound of breaking

Susanne Kippenberger, Zeit Online
1 December 2016

Edmund de Waal, Autor und Künstler, erzählt von der Feinheit des Porzellans und nimmt uns mit auf eine Reise zu den Ursprüngen des kostbaren Stoffs.

Edmund de Waal - The White Road

Luigi Marfè, L'indice
1 November 2016

L’oca delle nevi non deve lavarsi per esser bianca, tu non devi far nulla per essere te stesso», dice Lao Tzu: la forza di seduzione del bianco risiede, per il saggio, nel suo saper essere, da sempre, senza sforzo, quello che già è.

Fifty Shades of White

Victoria Glendinning, Literary Review
October 2016

In The White Road de Waal sets out across continents, hunting down iconic pieces and visiting the places where porcelain was invented and reinvented, in the ‘white hills’ of China, England and Germany.

Edmund de Waal: The White Road

Kirsten Willeken, Siebter Himmel
26 September 2016

Edmund ist fünf. Er begleitet seinen Vater jeden Donnerstag zu einem Keramik-Abendkurs an der Kunstschule am Ort. Nach einer Stunde gibt es eine Pause, ein Glas Saft und einen Keks.

Edmund de Waal: Under the spell of white gold

Gina Thomas, FAZ Feuilleton
26 September 2016

Scherben pflastern seine Geschichte: „Der Hase mit den Bernsteinaugen“ war ein Welterfolg. Jetzt hat Edmund de Waal ein Buch geschrieben, das von seinem Lebenselixier handelt - dem Porzellan.

Thinking with your hands

By Heidi Laura, Weekendasiven
7 May 2016

Vi har mistet den fundamentale forbindelse til ting, som går gennem hænderne, mener keramikeren og forfatteren Edmund de Waal. Og derfor også forbindelsen til dem, som laver tingene, og til tingenes dybere historier, smukke som smertefulde.

Porcelain: The stuff that dreams are made of

By Javier Martín, Panorámica
15 March 2016

Brillante, fina y traslúcida, la porcelana es sinónimo del lujo venido de Oriente.

Brillante, fina y traslúcida, la porcelana es sinónimo del lujo venido de Oriente.

Desde los primeros comerciantes italianos hasta los intereses de los principales monarcas europeos en su fabricación, la historia del oro blanco puede también leerse como una historia obsesiva por poseerla y elaborarla.

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An obsession

By Jorge Morla, El Pais
12 March 2016

Los nazis destinaban leña a fabricarla aunque escaseara para los crematorios y obsesionó a los emperadores chinos. El escritor novela la historia de la porcelana.

Porcelain, desired by kings and poets

By Antonio Lozano, La Vanguardia
6 March 2016

Tras el éxito de La liebre con ojos de ámbar, el autor, que también es artesano, se acerca en El oro blanco a uno de los secretos mejor guardados de Oriente.

50 Shades of Black, 50 Shades of White

By Edward Goldman, Huffington Post
19 January 2016

This is the story of his encounters with many people and places that help deepen his understanding of the nature of the material.

Review: A Story of Obsession: These People Really Love Their Rare Porcelain

The Huffington Post
11 January 2016

Edmund de Waal is “an English writer and potter,” he says. Not your everyday pair of careers...Hats off to Edmund de Waal for seeing how obsession draws history together and for writing his own book if not of everything, well, then a book about many things.

The White Road: Journey Into an Obsession, by Edmund de Waal

By David D'Arcy, San Francisco Chronicle
25 December 2015

Much writing is about witnessing. For Edmund de Waal, it is also about holding something in your hands. That something is porcelain, the translucent white pottery that’s obsessed de Waal for his entire life. As a substance, it radiates the purity of something delicate and nearly weightless, seemingly ageless.

The Delicate Art of Memory

By James McCauley, New Republic
1 December 2015

Edmund de Waal’s new book is an odyssey into an obsession with porcelain.

An obsessive journey into the world of porcelain

By Geoff Nicholson, Los Angeles Times
26 November 2015

This is a terrific book. If you read it, you'll never look at porcelain the same way again.

The Shape of Obsession

By Ben Downing, The Wall Street Journal
25 November 2015

Blending history, biography, autobiography, travel writing and multiple veins of meditation... it is a far cry from your grandmother’s coffee-table book on Lladró.

A pure obsession

By Brian Thomas Gallagher, The Seattle Times
22 November 2015

In The White Road, Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes, chronicles humanity’s passion for porcelain, the fine pottery coveted through the ages by the wealthy and highborn, and his own life as a craftsman who works with the prized material.

The china syndrome: Edmund de Waal on the agony and ecstasy of porcelain

By Jennifer Hunter, Toronto Star
22 November 2015

De Waal’s book is poetic and has a stream-of-consciousness style as he considers the places and people around the world involved in the creation and use of porcelain.

Creator, curator and custodian

By Ruth Guilding, Times Literary Supplement
23 October 2016

Deeply absorbing and profoundly instructive.

Life on a plate

By Alex Clarke, Observer Food Monthly
18 October 2015

The book is a great deal more than a history; in it de Waal examines the cost ... of the material so highly prized for its purity that it was thought to banish poison.

Edmund de Waal’s poetic journey down ‘the White Road’

By Miriam Cosic, The Australian
17 October 2015

The book is immersive and slightly hallucinatory. The text is as incantatory as poetry, a concatenation of places, eras, people, historical writings, physical objects, moods, the present and the past.

From buttons to porcelain, how Hare with Amber Eyes author found a new obsession

By Brian Lynch, Belfast Telegraph
3 October 2015

The White Road is not as accessible as The Hare with Amber Eyes, but the thinking that informs it is denser and even more illuminating.

Potter's progress

By Anne Gerritsen, Apollo Magazine
1 October 2015

The point of this pilgrimage, this white journey, is surely not just to tell us how it is possible to make white things, but to let us hear some of the conversations which are part of the making of porcelain.

Blanc slate

By Michael Walsh, The Tablet
26 September 2015

I already have it marked down, should anyone ask come December, as my book of the year.

Chasing Perfection

The Economist
26 September 2015

This allusive, complex book is a hybrid, neither a simple history, travelogue nor autobiography, but taking in elements of each as the author traces the stories of porcelain's development and his own fascination with those stories

Edmund de Waal’s hotly anticipated follow-up to his award-winning 2010 memoir The Hare With Amber Eyes

By Charlotte Heathcote, Sunday Express Magazine
25 September 2015

You don't want to stop reading because de Waal, with his sharp curator's eye, has excellent judgement when it comes to showing readers things that they will find fascinating, funny or moving.

Undone by porcelain

By Charles Darwent, The Oldie
20 September 2015

This [book] tells not one story but two: that of other people... the inventors, makers and consumers of porcelain, and the author's own.

A potter's pilgrimage on the white road

By Tristram Hunt, The Times
19 September 2015

This book is certainly the finest account of the many meanings of porcelain to the modern world that I have read.

The White Stuff

By AN Wilson, The Financial Times
19 September 2015

...an intensely personal history of porcelain.

Fragile Price of Beauty

By Ekow Eshun, The Independent
19 September 2015

A mesmerising and cautionary tale about the obsessive pursuit of white china.

Ceramic alchemy

By Olivia Laing, The New Statesman
18 September 2015

White is a dangerous colour – and de Waal's journey shows the human cost of porcelain.

The White Road: Journey into an Obsession

Publishers Weekly
14 September 2015

The book transforms an otherwise esoteric subject into a truly remarkable story.

The White Stuff

By Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Country Life Magazine
12 September 2015

Edmund de Waal has a way of making you care about handmade ceramics in a way no other writer does.

Magnificent Obsession

By Robert Bound, Monocle
1 September 2015

...intriguing, unusual, heartfelt...

The White Road

Kirkus Reviews
1 August 2015

A lyrical melding of art history, memoir, and philosophical meditation.