Gudao, Lone Islet

Gudao, Lone Islet

"I see the peeling paint of the ceiling with no light bulb, the small metal table where we eat, my yellow teddy bear, blue giraffe, baby doll and well-thumbed books on the floor, the other two beds (for my mother and brother) and the curved sword and drawn gun of the guard’s companion. I wonder whether he is going to shoot, or cut us to pieces. …"

  • Release Date:
    feb 28 2012
  • Categories:
    Chinese History

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Here comes the moon Shanghai Scarlet Gudao, Lone Islet

Reader Comments

The book provides a clear summary of what happened in the lead-up to hostilities and complements this with how a tired world adjusted after the guns were silenced ...

United Kingdom

... They are preparing for their own internment by the Japanese. Like that hymn and that moment, this bittersweet and beautifully crafted memoir of a childhood in old Shanghai ...

Modris Eksteins

Childhood’s joys, wonders and discoveries, along with its fears, frustrations and disappointments, are recounted against a backdrop of growing uncertainty ...

Dr. Greg Leck
United States

Your book answers so many questions that my family and I have had our whole lives! ...

Roberta Ward

Congratulations on the fascinating, wonderful book.

John Meehan SJ

Thanks very much for writing the book. . in many ways it will be my childhood diary too .. it left me chasing through all the human emotions ...

Fred Jones
United Kingdom

I was variously shocked, amused, moved to tears and finally better educated because of your work. … Both books are classics.

Katherine Byrnell

Shanghai internee and author of A Cave of Trunks - I am completely touched by your sensitivity and the way you wrote about the incident involving me. ...

Ester Shifren (née Benjamin)
United States

Thank you for having written such an excellent book. I have just reread the story of you burying your pets and been reduced to tears by it. …

Nicola Tyrer
United Kingdom

This is one war memoir you have to read. Margaret Blair has achieved an impeccably written, powerful and moving account of a sad chapter in history ...

Betty Jane Wylie

This book is very hard to put down ... a very satisfying conclusion ...



Thank you so much for writing this book. It is an inspiration to me to work on my own China book. ...


Jennifer Dobbs
United States

… a timeless tale of humanity amidst loss and deprivation.

Peter Harmsen

Professional Reviews

Kirkus Reviews, kirkus
Gudao, Lone Islet - RECOMMENDED

A survivor of World War II internment recalls cosmopolitan, pre-World War II Shanghai and three years as a prisoner of the Japanese army....
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U.S. Review of Books
Gudao, Lone Islet - RECOMMENDED

...realistically recalled through the eyes of a child, this captivating book is a must for anyone wanting a fresh perspective on World War II.
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Lesley Duncan, United KingdomThe Herald 
Gudao, Lone Islet, The War Years in Shanghai

… Margaret Blair has written two books rooted in her extraordinary early experiences in Shanghai. The first, Gudao, Lone Islet: the War Years in Shanghai, is primarily a personal memoir, though there is some fine background description of the wider scene in Shanghai, as the great international city with its sophisticated western enclaves and polyglot population ....
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