cover image Shanghai


Yokomitsu Riichi, Riichi Yokomitsu. University of Michigan Press, $45 (241pp) ISBN 978-1-929280-00-1

Japanese novelist and essayist Yokomitsu Riichi (1898-1947) first published Shanghai serially between 1928 and 1931. Filled with beautiful and disturbing imagery, it focuses on the lives of a group of Japanese expatriates living in Shanghai, a veritable cauldron of political and social unrest. In a time of strikes and riots, idealism and despair, people of various cultures (from sullen prostitutes to sketchy businessmen, including a man who exports human skeletons) try to make sense of life and love in their shifting, chaotic world. Dennis Washburn's graceful translation is augmented by an insightful afterword. ( May 1)