The Distant Land of My Father by Bo Caldwell

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Synopsis

For Anna, the narrator of Bo Caldwell's richly lyrical and vivid first novel, growing up in the magical world of Shanghai in the 1930s and 1940s creates a special bond between her and her father. He is the son of missionaries, a smuggler, and a millionaire who leads a charmed but secretive life. When the family flees to Los Angeles in the face of the Japanese occupation, he chooses to remain, believing his connections and luck will keep him safe.

He's wrong. He survives, only to again choose Shanghai over his family during the Second World War. Anna and her father reconnect late in his life, when she finally has a family of her own, but it is only when she discovers his extensive journals that she is able to fully understand him and the reasons for his absences. With the intensity and appeal of When We Were Orphans, also set in Shanghai at the same time, The Distant Land of My Father tells a moving and unforgettable story about a most unusual father-daughter relationship.
 

About Bo Caldwell

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Bo Caldwell has published short stories in numerous literary magazines. Her nonfiction writing includes a long-running series of personal essays in the Washington Post Magazine. She is a former Stegner Fellow in creative writing at Stanford University, and now lives in Northern California with her husband, novelist Ron Hansen, and her two children.
 
Published April 29, 2011 by Chronicle Books LLC. 385 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Enraptured with the city’s sights and smells, he imparts this love to Anna: “My father handed Shanghai down to me as though it were an inheritance, a family treasure meant only for me.” But encroaching Japanese soldiers and floods of refugees make the city less and less tenable until, on the eve ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Caldwell's memoirlike first novel begins in 1930s Shanghai, a city where enterprising foreign entrepreneurs can quickly become millionaires—and just as quickly lose everything as victims

Sep 10 2001 | Read Full Review of The Distant Land of My Father

Publishers Weekly

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Caldwell's memoirlike first novel begins in 1930s Shanghai, a city where enterprising foreign entrepreneurs can quickly become millionaires—and just as quickly lose everything as victims

Sep 10 2001 | Read Full Review of The Distant Land of My Father

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