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Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia

Last Boat Out of Shanghai

Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia
Jan 22, 2019 | 528 Pages
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    Jan 22, 2019 | 528 Pages

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    Jan 22, 2019 | 528 Pages

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“I have long been an admirer of Helen Zia’s writing and scholarship, but Last Boat Out of Shanghai is at a whole new level. It’s a true page-turner, which isn’t something that’s often said about nonfiction. Zia has proven once again that history is something that happens to real people. Money, chance, fate, and destiny play their parts too. I stayed up late reading night after night, because I wanted to know what would happen to Benny, Ho, Bing, Annuo, and their friends and families. We all know that real life is stranger than fiction. An action that on the surface looks like a good one can send you down a disastrous path, while sometimes a mistake can bring triumph. These are choices that refugees around the world continue to make today, which helps to make this book relevant in addition to being such a compelling good read.”—New York Times bestselling author Lisa See

“An absorbing history of a refugee crisis that mirrors current events . . . vividly chronicles the lives of several individuals. . . . With captivating detail, the author reconstructs the tense ‘panic to flee’ that engulfed the nation.”Kirkus Reviews

“Helen Zia’s new book is a true tale of wartime savagery and difficult moral choices. Rich in sweep and detail, this compelling saga is a Chinese Dr. Zhivago. Enjoy a great historical read; take the Last Boat out of Shanghai.—James Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of Flags of our Fathers and The China Mirage

Last Boat Out of Shanghai is an impeccably researched and beautifully crafted account of the dramatic events surrounding the Communist takeover of China’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. Tracing the fate of four fascinating families, Helen Zia offers a warmly human perspective on one of the most wrenching political transitions of the twentieth century. This book is a genuine pleasure to read, with much to inform and interest the general public and China specialists alike.”—Elizabeth Perry, Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government at Harvard University and director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute

“War, foreign occupation, revolution, counter-revolution, exile, and new lives: the worst and best of times of a remarkable group of people from China who became Americans. Helen Zia tells their stories with clarity, understanding, and empathy. Unforgettable and moving.”—Gordon H. Chang, professor of American history and Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities, Stanford University

“Gripping, magisterial, ambitious, and intimate, Last Boat Out of Shanghai not only depicts a cataclysmic century as it was lived and felt by four very different people, it keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way. What a tour de force! I could not put it down.”—Gish Jen, author of The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap

“Much has been written by and about the diaspora from war-ravaged Europe during World War II, but accounts of those who fled China’s postwar turbulence are rare. Helen Zia remedies this lack in a book that makes the experience of those who fled Asia’s most vibrant city both accessible and emotionally compelling. Last Boat Out of Shanghai deftly weaves together the stories of Chinese people displaced by political turmoil into a mosaic that celebrates human determination, resilience, and ingenuity.”—Stella Dong, author of Shanghai: The Rise and Fall of a Decadent City

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