As business leaders and politicians alike have proclaimed, this may be China’s century. Which is why we at Hippo have invited American journalist Evan Osnos, who witnessed China’s transformation firsthand as The New Yorker’s China Correspondent, to be our next Ask Me Anything guest.

His China coverage has been lauded by China hands and neophytes alike as some of the most comprehensive and artful reporting on China. His recently published book, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in New China (2014) won him the National Book Award for nonfiction last month. The book tells the story of China’s current internal struggle, as individual ambitions surge while the Communist Party grapples for control. It chronicles the lives of contemporary people who are utterly dissimilar, yet all mavericks in their pursuit of singular aspirations. The New York Times said of Age of Ambition that it paints “[a] riveting and troubling portrait of a people in a state of extreme anxiety about their identity, values and future.”

Mr. Osnos began his journalism career at the Chicago Tribune in 1999, where he started out as a metro reporter. He then became a national and foreign correspondent, covering the September 11th attacks from New York, and then the Iraq War from the Middle East. In 2005, he became the Chicago Tribune’s China Correspondent, and was a member of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2008. He has also won two awards from the Overseas Press Club as well as the Osborn Elliot Prize for Excellence in Journalism from the Asia Society. He has, moreover, been featured on The Colbert Report, NPR’s This American Life, and Frontline.

I had the great opportunity to interview Mr. Osnos in early December when he came to UCSD to give a lecture on his latest book. Admittedly nervous to interview one of my idols of the page, he was incredibly generous in personality and in thought. Our conversation ran the gamut from the craft of writing, to politics, to waxing poetic about boiled dumplings. His pleasant demeanor was overshadowed only by his intelligence, qualities that make him the journalist he is today. So please, ask Evan anything…

As a reminder—or an introduction for those of you new to the series—here’s how our Ask Me Anything works:


  • This post is our open call for questions directed to the expert (Evan Osnos).
  • You can submit your questions—using the form below—until Friday of next week.
  • We will then forward a selection of your questions to the expert.
  • The answers will run the following week.

We encourage you to share this campaign—and your questions!—via email and social media.

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This AMA made possible by our proud partnership with UCSD’s China Focus.


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