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A vivid account of the love triangle between an American journalist and adventurer, a wealthy expatriate businessman and a Chinese poet in Shanghai in the late 1930s.
Taras Grescoe is an award-winning journalist, and the author of five books, which have been translated into six languages on three continents. He is a regular contributor to a wide range of newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, National Geographic Traveler, The Times and the Guardian. He lives in Montreal, Canada.
As Taras Grescoe, a respected Canadian writer of nonfiction, shows in this marvellous, microscopically descriptive history of what is now one of the most populous and smoggiest megalopolises on earth, Shanghai in the 1930s was internationally notorious as 'the wicked old Paris of the Orient', with 'as vivid a cast of chancers, schemers, exhibitionists, double-dealers and self-made villains as had ever been assembled in one place'. Grescoe lavishly keeps the promise of his book's subtitle. Spectator With its surplus of romance and more or less digestible political intrigue, it's not hard to imagine the movie version of Shanghai Grand, a lush period spectacle starring, say, Michelle Williams as Hahn, Chang Chen as Zau and, might I suggest, Ralph Fiennes as Sassoon - he's already displayed an irresistible knack for portraying hoteliers quixotically devoted to upholding the laws of luxury whilst the barbarians storm the gate. The Globe and Mail