Last Friday the publisher sent me ten copies of my new book. It feels good to finally hold it in my hands.
As the dates of my book talks approach, I'll be updating this website with more info and some samples from the book.
I'll start with "The Man Who Was Treated as a Plaything." Published in 1933, it's about a college boy in Shanghai named Alexy who falls for a girl on his campus named Rongzi. Here's how he describes the girl, with references to Hollywood starlets of the day, as well as the imagery and technologies associated with urban modernity:
"This was truly a girl who lived on stimulation and speed, Rongzi! Jazz, machines, speed, urban culture, American flavour, contemporary beauty...she was made up of all these things."
"The eyes in the poster of Vilma [Velma] Banky on the wall looked like her eyes,
Nancy Carrol's smile looked like her smile,
and strangely her nose was growing on Norma Shearer's face."