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Lanes of Changing Fortunes – Six Shanghai Walks (2nd edition) and Patterns of the Past – Six More Shanghai Walks, by Barbara Green, Tess Johnston, Ruth Lear, Carolyn Robertson, Jos Snoodjik. This second walks guidebook augments last year’s popular first volume with still more histories and anecdotes on the old Western buildings that grace the city's major boulevards and lesser lanes. Detailed walking itineraries, with coffee (and comfort) stops, are supplemented by both Deke’s and the authors’ photos from their favorite walks. These books also offer great reads for out-of-towners who cannot experience Shanghai for themselves.

Shanghailanders & Shanghainese - Where They Lived, Worked and Played - Still More Shanghai Walks. Volume III of the SHANGHAI WALKS Series.

Tess Johnston has assembled a fine stable of fellow-authors from the field of foreign correspondents, free-lance writers, bloggers, amateur historians and all-round faithful fans of Shanghai (as is she). They (and their subjects) are:


  • The Bund - Tycoons, Coolies and Communists by Patrick Cranley

  • Tilanqiao - The Former Jewish Ghetto and Lively Street Market by Sue Anne Tay

  • Crosswalking the Old Concession - The Many Facets of Frenchtown by Tess Johnston

  • Culture & Cafés in the Former French Concession by Lisa Movius

  • Xinhua Road - Merchant Princes and the Badlands by Bill Savadove

  • The Western Suburbs - Hongqiao Road by Duncan Hewitt

Permanently Temporary: From Berlin to Shanghai in Half a Century by Tess Johnston.

Tess Johnston's peripatetic half a century has taken her through fourteen Foreign Service postings to her retirement – and this book, written in her permanently temporary home in Shanghai. She loves to talk, and to write and the range of her interests is broad. Tess has filled them with life, with anecdotes and with humor. Travel with her in her "little life" in a wider world. Reviews of Permanently Temporary have appeared in the South China Morning Post and That's Shanghai magazine.

Missy’s China – Letters from Hangchow, 1934-1937
by Doris (“Missy”) Arnold

A “small town American girl” came with her family to live in China during a troubled era. In a memorable three years Missy wrote weekly letters home about her life in a small expat enclave surrounded by the culture and chaos of her host city. She is a keen observer of her little world, and her letters are rich in minute details (and humor) that enable her family (and the readers) to experience old China through her perceptive eyes.

Peking Sun, Shanghai Moon – Images from a Past Era
by Diana Hutchins Angulo

A rare glimpse into the private lives of wealthy foreigners living in Peking and Shanghai. Through the eyes of a beautiful young girl we are caught up in the lives of wealth and privilege, of social activities and obligations, of the foreign community in China between 1920 and 1940. Supplemented by photographs from family albums and contemporary newspapers, she gives us an entrée into the glamorous expatriate world in the last frenetic days of pre-war Shanghai.



Having spent a lot of time in Germany, in the spring of 2012 Tess again traveled to Berlin and then to Schlesien (in English, Silesia), since the end of WW-II a part of Poland. Breslau, now Wroclaw, was formerly one of Germany's cultural centers and Schlesien, thanks to its fertile soil, one of its "bread baskets".

In an unspoiled and often empty landscape are still more than three thousand old German castles and magnificent manor houses and ancillary buildings of formerly vast estates. After the end of the war and with the departure of the German populace these abandoned buildings were left to the mercy of both people and the elements resulting in, still, a wide array of architectural gems, some totally burned out, most slowly sinking into ruin, a few now restored.

Tess had made three previous trips thru Schlesien with old German friends, one of whom was an architect, a fantastic photographer -- and from Schlesien! Now with the enthusiasm of still more German friends, including two Schlesien scholars, they are working on what will hopefully emerge as a bilingual volume of old and new photographs and text about the fabulous Castles and Manor Houses of Old Schlesien/Silesia. Stay tuned!

FOR OUR READERS: If there is anyone out there who has a background of ancestry in Schlesien (like the von Johnstons who owned "Gross Bresa"), Tess would welcome any photos, material, first-person narratives or input about life in Breslau or rural Schlesien.

© Tess Johnston, 2014. All Rights Reserved.  Contact Tess here.