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“These experiences are not mine alone, but of many. I was blessed to have a daughter who helped tell our family’s story. Even if the specific details may differ, I hope this gives a voice to all those in my generation who suffered, survived and re-invented themselves.”

                                                —Isabel Sun Chao

“This is not your garden-variety memoir. My ancestors were a cast of eccentrics who lived in tumultuous times, and thankfully my mother did not resist writing an insider tell-all. There’s a bank heist, a kidnapping, a feud with Shanghai’s top gangster, a trek across China and a date on a Harley-Davidson. In between the adventures, we learn about mahjong, calligraphy, silkworms, Beijing opera and Shanghai dumplings. We sincerely hope you enjoy reading Remembering Shanghai as much as we enjoyed creating it!”

—Claire Chao

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Isabel Sun Chao

ISABEL SUN CHAO’s childhood in Shanghai coincided with the last eighteen years before Mao came to power. She left on what she thought was a holiday in 1950 and never saw her father again. She has since lived in Hong Kong, where she worked for more than thirty years as a cultural affairs specialist in the US Consulate General. Now in her eighties, Isabel is fully retired, and most days can be found exercising her skills and diplomacy at the mahjong table.

Claire Chao

CLAIRE CHAO is Isabel’s daughter, a writer with more than thirty years’ management experience for companies including Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston and Hill & Knowlton. Avenue magazine designated her one of the “500 Most Influential Asian Americans,” and Hong Kong Tatler named her to the “500 List” of “Who’s Who in Hong Kong.” She graduated with highest honors from Princeton University. She lives in Honolulu with her husband and two dogs.

Isabel Sun Chao_Claire Chao