Shanghai Grand: Forbidden Love and International Intrigue on the Eve of the Second World War

Hardcover | May 31, 2016

byTaras Grescoe

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From award-winning and bestselling author Taras Grescoe comes a highly compelling new bestselling book about the twilight of Shanghai before the Second World War

Finalist for the 2016 Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction

Longlisted for the 2017 British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

On the eve of the Second World War, 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 fifty 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, who had once lived in Saskatoon and Edmonton and later retired to Montreal. 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.

Taras Grescoe, with his trademark style and verve, brings this rich history to life in all its beautiful and intimate detail.

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From the Publisher

From award-winning and bestselling author Taras Grescoe comes a highly compelling new bestselling book about the twilight of Shanghai before the Second World WarFinalist for the 2016 Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-FictionLonglisted for the 2017 British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-FictionOn the eve of the Second World War, t...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:480 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.45 inPublished:May 31, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443425532

ISBN - 13:9781443425537

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“A spellbinding work that immerses us in a disappeared yet irresistible world. . . . Grescoe’s deft weaving of the intimate, the historic, and the political offers another perspective on the reality of Shanghai and China today.”