A fascinating memoir by a free-spirited New Yorker writer, whose wanderlust led her from the Belgian Congo to Shanghai and beyond.
Originally published in 1970, under the title Times and Places, this book is a collection of twenty-three of her articles from the New Yorker, published between 1937 and 1970. Well reviewed upon first publication, the book was re-published under the current title in 2000 with a foreword by Sheila McGrath, a longtime colleague of hers at the New Yorker, and an introduction by Ken Cuthbertson, author of Nobody Said Not to Go: The Life, Loves and Adventures of Emily Hahn. One of the pieces in the book starts with the line, “Though I had always wanted to be an opium addict, I can’t claim that as a reason why I went to China.” Hahn was seized by a wanderlust that led her to explore nearly every corner of the world. She traveled solo to the Belgian Congo at the age of twenty-five. She was the concubine of a Chinese poet in Shanghai in the 1930s—where she did indeed become an opium addict for two years. For many years, she spent part of every year in New York City and part of her time living with her husband, Charles Boxer, in England. Through the course of these twenty-three distinct pieces, Emily Hahn gives us a glimpse of the tremendous range of her interests, the many places in the world she visited, and her extraordinary perception of the things, large and small, that are important in a life.