By Kirwan Ward and Paul Rigby. With a New Foreword by Graham Earnshaw
Unexpectedly in 1958, an irreverent British journalist and Australian cartoonist duo were granted visas to visit Communist China at its most closed and inscrutable. They went, the saw, and they produced one of the great classics of China books, Willow Pattern Walkabout, a unique and sadly forgotten book, now resurrected. Emerging from the writings of Edward “Bernie” Kirwan Ward and the drawings of Paul Rigby, both residents of Perth in Australia, is a picture of China at a key moment in its history, still feeding off the exhilaration of the creation of “People’s China” in 1949, and full of optimism and blind idealism. The two traveled on a path through the “New China” that was micromanaged by the communist authorities, but they still harvested a rich collection of insights and observations tinged with skepticism and good humor.