City of Devils:
Warlordism, War, Journalism And
The High Life In Old Shanghai
Paul French will tell the extraordinary tale of 1940s Shanghai and how it was portrayed at the time in literature and journalism – and in contemporary police reports. The author of the bestselling Midnight in Peking, Mr. French has written a new book called City of Devils that delves into old Shanghai and its glories and sordid disasters. The foreign press corps of old China witnessed the death of a dynasty, the birth of a republic, warlordism, natural disaster, war, occupation and revolution. Their journalism explained China to the world and made some of them famous. Yet their private lives, relationships, interaction with the communities they lived among are distinctly less well-known. The foreign press corps of pre-1949 China have always been sources for Paul French’s writing – both as witnesses to events and as characters. However, the lives they lived, their homes and lifestyles are equally sources of foreign life in Shanghai between the wars. From Edgar and Helen Snow’s sumptuous hutong courtyard home to Emily Hahn’s stylish Shanghai apartment, French looks at the lives behind the headlines and what they tell us about a now vanished old China.
Currently based in London, Paul French lived and worked in Shanghai for many years. He is a widely published analyst and commentator on China. His book Midnight in Peking was a New York Times Bestseller, a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, a Mystery Writers’ of America Edgar award winner for Best Fact Crime and a Crime Writers’ Association (UK) Dagger award for non-fiction. Midnight in Peking will be made into an international mini-series by Kudos Film and Television, the UK creators of Spooks, Broadchurch and Life on Mars.
Speaker: Paul French,Author/Journalist