Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life

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In a book that is part microhistory, part memoir, Jie Li salvages intimate recollections by successive generations of inhabitants of two vibrant, culturally mixed Shanghai alleyways. These voices include workers, intellectuals, Communists, Nationalists, foreigners, compradors, wives, concubines, and children who witnessed spectacles so full of farce and pathos they could only be whispered as secret histories. Exploring three dimensions of private life--territories, artifacts, and gossip--Li re-creates the sounds, smells, ...

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