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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
With the abundance of Holocaust literature in print, it's difficult to weigh one Holocaust memoir against another. While each life history has merit, the memoirs we select for the Discover program are those which bring something fresh to the genre. Ursula Bacon's memoir is a welcome addition, her story a much-needed side of a little known world -- the Shanghai ghetto.
By the late 1930s, Hitler had begun to roll over the European Jews he sought to extinguish, and many began to flee. Sadly, their choices for refuge were limited. North and South America refused to take them in, as did Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and many European nations. Bacon was one of nearly 20,000 Jewish refugees who left for Shanghai. Her riveting tale begins the night the Gestapo comes for her father, and follows her small family on their voyage to China.
Greeted at the Shanghai waterfront with Hitler's flag, Bacon's family has good reason to doubt that the city will provide a truly safe harbor for them. And while Bacon's early impressions of Shanghai are revolting -- beggars covered in sores, children eliminating waste in the street -- over time she is charmed by the exotic city that will be her home for seven years, until the bombs of the Japanese come crashing down.
Bacon unravels her tale with skill, recreating dialogue and scenes with a filmic precision, and includes photos from her time in exile. (Holiday 2004 Selection)