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Archive for the ‘Book review’ Category

Midnight in Peking

August 31st, 2015 | 1 Comment

Journalist and author Paul French is one of the most knowledgeable person about Shanghai. Although he now has gone back to the UK, he spent years in the city commenting about both the old and modern side of it. He is the author of The Old Shanghai A to Z (See link to my post […]


August 17th, 2015 | 1 Comment

I have been a fan of James Ellroy’s crime novel for years, reading his original “LA quartet” (the black dahlia, The big nowhere, LA Confidential and White Jazz) in the early 90’s at publication. Although not set in the 1920’s and 1930’s that I am so fascinated by, they felt close enough. Ellroy’s novel are often […]

Night in Shanghai

February 28th, 2015 | 4 Comments

Historical novels are a great way to get transported to the past. I have not had much time for my own research about Old Shanghai recently, but I still can find time for reading books about it. Having read a number of novels about Old Shanghai, like “The master of rain” or “Last seen in Shanghai”, […]

Shanghai’s Art Deco Master

May 2nd, 2014 | No Comments

Like a number of those before on Shanghailander.net this book review is a biased one.  Just like “Peace at the Cathay“or “Promenades dans l’ancienne concession Française“, the book was written by friends of mine, in that case Spencer Dodington & Charles Lagrange. Furthermore, I was actually involved in the project itself, though only for a […]

Peter Hibbard’s Peace at the Cathay

June 23rd, 2013 | 4 Comments

Peter Hibbard has long been one of the leading scholars on Old Shanghai. He wrote the best (if not only) guide to the Bund: “The Bund Shanghai: China faces the West”, as well the privately published book celebrating the opening of Shanghai Peninsula, covering the history of the Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotel corporation. Peter […]

Shanghai scarlet

August 30th, 2012 | 1 Comment

The Shanghai forgotten modernist writers, Mu ShiYing, Shi Zhecun, Du Heng, Liu Na’ou, Xu Chi have captured my attention since I first came across them in Lynn Pan’s excellent Shanghai Style. I also wrote a specific post about Mu ShiYing “Shanghai Foxtrot” a few years ago. The opportunity to read a novel focused on the […]

Burmese days

February 23rd, 2012 | 2 Comments

George Orwell was mostly known to me thanks to his novels 1984 and Animal farms. As I recently discovered, he also wrote a famous book about his time in Burma in the 1920’s, “Burmese days”. The book has recently been back in the news, thanks to Emma Larkin‘s “Finding George Orwell in Burma” published in […]

Barney, Journals of Harry Virden Bernard

December 14th, 2011 | Comments Off on Barney, Journals of Harry Virden Bernard

I have now read quite a number of little known or privately published books written by Old Shanghailanders. Taken away from a past that seemed a lot of fun and was never to be reached again, many of them told their story in their old age. A few of them include Shanghai Saga by John […]

Robert Nield, The China Coast

July 10th, 2011 | No Comments

With the summer coming and a little less traveling, I finally have to actually read the books I picked up during the Shanghai Literary Festival in last March. One of the most interesting event was the literary lunch with Robert Nield. As with all Old Shanghai related event, it attracted the usual crowd of Shanghai […]

The Concubine of Shanghai

June 26th, 2011 | 1 Comment

We  continue travelling through Old Shanghai based contemporary literature with one of the airport bookstores favorite, Hong Ying, The Concubine of Shanghai. To be honest, Hong Ying “K: The Art of Love” is probably more famous, but the title of this one was the attraction point. Although the book have been acclaimed and makes an […]