City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir
Chair: Anne Sebba
1930s Shanghai: in the years before the Japanese invaded, the city was a haven for outlaws from all over the world; a place where pasts could be forgotten, fascism and communism outrun, names invented, fortunes made – and lost. Award-winning author Paul French offers a spellbinding account of Shanghai’s lawless 1930s, and two of its most notorious criminals who bestrode the city like kings: ‘Lucky’ Jack Riley, an ex-Navy boxing champion; and ‘Dapper’ Joe Farren, a Jewish boy who fled Vienna’s ghetto to establish a chorus line that rivalled Ziegfeld’s.
Paul French lived in Shanghai for ten years, where he was a business advisor and analyst. He frequently comments on China for the English-speaking press around the world. He studied history, economics, and Mandarin at university and has an M.Phil in economics from the University of Glasgow. He lives in London.
Anne Sebba is a biographer, lecturer, radio presenter and former Reuters' foreign correspondent. She has written nine critically acclaimed books, most recently Les Parisiennes.