In a classroom in sultry Guangzhou, having never before left the United States nor taught a class on anything, armed only with a beginner's grasp of the language, Brasunas confronts thirty-seven expectant ninth graders in white uniforms. When he fails repeatedly -- often humorously -- in the tense classroom, an intrinsic curiosity about Chinese culture and about himself springs from within and drives him not only to keep trying with his ninth graders, but to trust his instincts in the dishonest streets as well, and ultimately to make new friends from all walks of life.
When the school year ends, Brasunas sets off with just a backpack across the vast hinterlands of China, along the Silk Road in the north, and to the edge of ancient Tibet in the west. His intrepid odyssey not only brings him face to face with a rich tapestry of people -- from Muslim political dissidents in Linxia to monks in mountainous Tibetan monasteries -- but also plunges him into unexpected peril, torturous romance, and wild twists of fate that transform his basic understanding of right and wrong, beauty and truth, suffering and happiness.
Bold and inspiring, Double Happiness is a vivid journey across China and through the soul of a young American.
"A very talented writer... a journey filled with rich insight." (Writer's Digest Book Awards)
"A life-altering experience... teaching, traveling, and transformation." (San Jose Mercury News)
"Inspirational and striking... travel writing at its best." (Midwest Book Review)
"This book will sweep you across the ocean to another land, and you will take a journey that will leave you forever changed." (The Book Wheel)
"A brilliant new writer... an unforgettable journey." (Anodea Judith, author of Waking the Global Heart)