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Publisher's Summary

On the eve of WWII, the foreign-controlled port of Shanghai was the rendezvous for the 20th century's most outlandish adventurers, all under the watchful eye of the fabulously wealthy Sir Victor Sassoon. Emily Hahn was a legendary New Yorker writer who would cover China for nearly 50 years, and play an integral part in opening Asia up to the West. But at the height of the Depression, "Mickey" Hahn, had just arrived in Shanghai nursing a broken heart after a disappointing affair with an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter, convinced she would never love again. After entering Sassoon's glamorous Cathay Hotel, Hahn is absorbed into the social swirl of the expats drawn to pre-war China, among them Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Harold Acton, and the colourful gangster named Morris "Two-Gun" Cohen. But when she meets Zau Sinmay, a Chinese poet from an illustrious family, she discovers the real Shanghai through his eyes: the city of rich colonials, triple agents, opium-smokers, displaced Chinese peasants, and increasingly desperate White Russian and Jewish refugees - a place her innate curiosity will lead her to discover first hand. But danger lurks on the horizon and Mickey barely makes it out alive as the brutal Japanese occupation destroys the seductive world of pre-war Shanghai and Mao Tse-tung's Communists come to power in China.
©2016 St Martin's Press (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Leonard on 09-28-17

Interesting Insight into Pre-War China

I saw the title in a bookstore and the subject really interested me. The early reviews were a bit discouraging but I thought I would give it a try.

The story does tend to repeat itself, which is a pet irritant. However, overall the book does present some very interesting insights into the individual characters of old Shanghai. Usually histories into pre-war China seldom expand to the background of important figures of the day. This book fills in a lot of those gaps.

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By Jane on 12-28-16

Could have been better

The story is fascinating, although the prose is sometimes dense and hard to follow. I would very much have preferred a male narrator. This one made some mispronunciations of English words, and the reading style is a bit jumpy.

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