Recent news and praise for At Least We Lived

In The Los Angeles Review of Books’ China Blog UC Irvine’s Jeffrey Wasserstrom selects At Least We Lived as one of a dozen recommended reads for 2014:

'Emma Oxford’s At Least We Lived: The Unlikely Adventures of an English Couple in World War II China offers a well crafted account of the author’s parents’ experiences in Hong Kong, from which her father made a dramatic escape as Japanese forces took control, and Chongqing, where her adventurous mother journeyed to work while in her mid-twenties. It tells a story of love in the midst of battles and air raids, drawing heavily on the author’s access to family letters.'

The Asian Review of Books gives a detailed look into At Least We Lived , describing Max's Christmas Day escape and more:

'The dramatic highlight of At Least We Lived is the chapter on the Christmas Day escape. Admiral’s Chan’s escape had been planned ahead of time. He was spirited out of the Gloucester Hotel; there were Motor Torpedo Boats waiting on Ap Lei Chau, just off Aberdeen in the south of the Colony. They almost didn’t make it: their launch was shot out from under them and they had to swim to Ap Lei Chau. They survived, met up with the boats, crossed Mirs Bay and went overland through enemy lines to Waichow (now Huizhou).'

Other praise:

'At Least We Lived is a marvellous combination – it is an adventure story of a young, daring couple who found love in the midst of a terrible war, and it is also a slice of history that is too often forgotten, the agony of China in the Second World War. Emma Oxford’s spirited style makes this a biography well worth reading for all those interested in modern China and the end of empire’.

-Rana Mitter, author of Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937 – 1945 , Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, University of Oxford.

‘Emma Oxford has painted a vivid picture of the now distant world of two generations ago. Her story of an English couple in wartime China and Hong Kong is beautifully written, and her description of life in Chungking in particular lingers on in the mind.’

-Philip Snow, author of The Fall of Hong Kong

‘Emma Oxford has written a fascinating and highly readable account of how her parents came to meet in the dramatic setting of the capital of wartime China, Chungking…The book goes on to document the couple’s early married life in the glamorous high society of postwar Hong Kong, where Max Oxford was in charge of civil aviation… [The author] succeeds brilliantly in conjuring up what she calls ‘a distant world in the waning days of Empire’ – a lost era of long journeys, wartime rations, adventure, romance, poverty, excess and slowly fading privilege.’

-Tim Luard, author of Escape from Hong Kong .