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Nobody Said Not to Go: The Life, Loves, and Adventures of Emily Hahn Paperback – September 1, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
A globe-trotting New Yorker writer for 68 years?almost until her death last year at age 92?Emily Hahn notoriously chose the "uncertain path," and Cuthbertson does her adventures justice as long as the momentum holds. The first third presents the clearest picture of Hahn, without exotic trappings: Flouting convention early, Hahn graduated from the University of Wisconsin as a mining engineer, just to prove that a woman could. Through the 1920s she fledged as a writer and traveler, mingling with, but never quite joining, the smart set. Then in 1929, the New Yorker's editor and founder Harold Ross, took her on, saying, "You have a great talent.... You can be cattier than anyone I know." In 1930, she traveled alone to Penge, a remote backwater in the Congo, where her host, an American pal, turned into a kind of Mr. Kurtz, provided grist for a memoir, Congo Sale, and a novel, With Naked Foot. Hahn's exploits crested with her stay in Shanghai and Hong Kong from 1935 through 1943. Her life makes for heady cinematic stuff: her social gadding; affair with Chinese poet Sinmay Zau; opium addiction; child with and eventual marriage to Hong Kong's head of British intelligence, Charles Boxer (all set against the battle for Shanghai and the fall of Hong Kong). Unhappily, Cuthbertson begins to fall for his own melodrama ("Was that a glistening in his eyes, or was it a trick of the light?"), and the postwar pages become a tame resume of domestic arrangements and literary outpouring.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
By all accounts, Emily Hahn (1905^-97) should be a household name. A trailblazer, she routinely defied convention and chronicled her singular experiences in hundreds of articles for the New Yorker and in more than 50 books. Cuthbertson, who met Hahn while working on his biography of John Gunther, speculates that she was just too controversial, versatile, and complicated for fame then, but not now. He adroitly brings her back into the limelight by detailing her achievements--she was the first woman at her university to earn a degree in mining engineering, she drove cross-country during the risky 1920s, then lived by her wits in colonial Africa and war-torn China, mining not the earth but her involvements with other cultures, men, and every conceivable form of entertainment, work, and danger. The events that Hahn witnessed were world-changing, and her blazing candor about war, race, sex, and feminism was courageous; but she was too hot to handle, and even though she wrote for the New Yorker well into her eighties, she dropped from sight. Thanks to Cuthbertson, Hahn has an encore in front of an audience hungry for just her kind of story. Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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towards the end i just gave up and ordered the prolific Hahn's own memoir China To Me, which is a wonderful read. go straight to the source, friends, and ignore this shallow skim by someone with no discernible respect for either his subject or his audience.