Categories
Shanghai

Shanghai Mind

To shanghai is to Force (someone) to join a ship lacking a full crew by drugging them or using other underhand means. The word dates back to late 19th century Shanghai and, indeed, all the tropes are there. The drugs, the crime, the indentured service. When we think of the residents of Shanghai, we see […]

Categories
Jazz Shanghai

All That Jazz

My father has many gifts but dancing is not one of them. My mother taught me to dance: the two step, the waltz, the cha cha cha. She played the jazz tunes of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. We danced in the living room. She wore house slippers; I was in bare feet. She led, […]

Categories
Craft Family ghosts Historical fiction Shanghai noir

A Reading List

My novel The Dancing Girl and the Turtle is set in Shanghai 1937. Does any story set in the past qualify as historical fiction? Hilary Mantel says historical fiction must do far more than dredge up the past: A relation of past events bring[s] you up against events and mentalities that, should you choose to describe […]