A Single Pebble
A Single Pebble by John Hersey portrays ancient life along the Yangtze River. A young American engineer travels against the river's swift currents aboard a junk pulled by trackers who trudge together on paths along the bank. Today's freighter cargo ships, 3-Gorges Dam electrical output, and relocation of rural and river-town populations are a striking contrast. Much is now submerged – but hopefully the spirit of Hersey's characters will remain.