The One About Shanghai

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By Maura Elizabeth Cunningham

For foreign viewers prone to thinking of China as alien and exotic, the movie does an excellent job of normalizing Shanghai, demonstrating that people here lead lives that are tinged with a Chinese flavor, but not so far removed from those of their New York counterparts. Shanghai Calling, I think, could perform the same role for American audiences that Friends has for Chinese, as it shows off the best side of a city that might have previously seemed totally inaccessible.

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Having only just stumbled upon the LA Review of Books’ China Blog, I find it incredibly exciting that a major journal has expressed an explicit interest in the topic of modern-day China. In describing the potential market for the movie “Shanghai Calling” (above)—which looks at this “foreign” world through the eyes of expats—Ms. Cunningham very articulately summarizes the mission that I’m hoping my own work will be able to accomplish on the literary front. Fingers crossed.