Shanghai Boy, Shanghai Girl - new edition now available

A new edition of Shanghai Boy, Shanghai Girl - lives in parallel, by long-standing SCA member Betty Barr and her husband George Wang has recently been published and is available via the Association.

Originally published in 2002 by Old China Hand Press in Shanghai, the book tells the story of how both Betty and George grew up separately in Shanghai in the 1930s and 1940s. They lived through the turmoil of the Sino-Japanese war and the occupation of Shanghai from December 1941, before later meeting and marrying in 1984. They still live in Shanghai, where they have both worked for many years as English teachers.

Betty was the daughter of a Scottish missionary and an American lady, and went to the Shanghai American School. She spent several years in the Lunghwa internment camp, and the book includes her account of these difficult times as well as some fascinating drawings of the camp by an Irish artist who knew her parents.

George's story follows his family's struggle to rise above their initial poverty, but also records his keen and entertaining observation of the bustling and colourful life of Shanghai in the 1930s, before its disruption by war in 1937 and the hardships that followed.

The new, revised edition of the book includes a new chapter by Betty recording, through her mother's diary, the time between occupation in December 1941 and full internment in 1943. In addition, there are many new photographs and other illustrations. These include modern views of many of the places mentioned in the original text, as well as some charming line drawings of scenes from the 1930s. It is paperback, 314 pages.

If you have not already got a copy, it is highly recommended. The book is available via Janice Dickson, SCA Chairman, at a cost of £10. Please speak to her at one of our meetings or send her an email.

There was an article about Betty and George and their shared lives in Shanghai Daily on 30 July 2013 - see here.