Jack Reynolds, author of seminal Bangkok novel, A WOMAN OF BANGKOK, has just published his latest book, though he died way back in 1984.
Called, A TRUE FRIEND TO CHINA, the book is a collection of the newsletter articles he wrote while doing medical relief work in China in the dark days of the nineteen forties. Written for a tiny audience of his Friends Ambulance Unit colleagues and since lost and forgotten, I think it's some of his very best writing. With the day to day immediacy of a blog, it really gives you the feeling of what it was like to be there in a feudal, poverty stricken China, desperately facing civil war and facing revolutionary change. And his writing always sparkles and is funny and perceptive.
It's available in the USA at Quaker Books at Pendle Hill and online at www.quakerbooks.org. For other sales please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See also www.fauchinaconvoy.blogspot.com for lots more pictures and find me on Facebook.
It's a truly great book which I can confidently say as I didn't write most of it and I took only about three of the 500 photos. 'Cos I wasn't there in 1940!
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Some seven years ago I became fascinated with Jack Reynolds because he had written only one book, the remarkable novel, A WOMAN OF BANGKOK. It was published in New York and London, was much reissued and translated and is still in print today, a tribute to it's enduring qualities.
I decided to photograph my collection of books by Jack and they include one of his own poetry, short stories of China and even a survey of industries in Thailand. I now realise it's not exactly true that he only wrote one book, though he was probably at his best with the bite sized piece.
And soon there will be another one, my own edited collection of his writings in China about the Friends Ambulance Unit, many bites making for a tasty menu of stories.
JACK JONES-A TRUE FRIEND TO CHINA should be out soon. I'm now pretty impatient after five years' research.
Friday, 16 January 2015
After five years of research on the Friends Ambulance Unit 'China Convoy' we're so nearly there. Earnshaw Books in Shanghai have finalised the cover, we have agonised through fifteen drafts of digital proofs, tweaking and editing incessantly, and now it's time for the printers to produce a mock-up of the book for final approval. In March I am flying to Yunnan, China and with other FAU friends will take a tour of the Burma Road and some of the places that Jack Jones and his men worked in the forties. Then on to Hong Kong and on March 27th I will be giving a talk to the Royal Asiatic Society about the 'China Convoy'. If all goes well a parcel of books will meet me there and I'll be able to show them off and sell them at the talk. It's going to be a large format book, lavishly illustrated and with a unit cost for printing of about £15 it had better be good. Wow! I can't wait.