Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Some seven years ago I became fascinated with Jack Reynolds because he had written only one book, the remarkable novel, A WOMAN OF BANGKOK. It was published in New York and London, was much reissued and translated and is still in print today, a tribute to it's enduring qualities.
I decided to photograph my collection of books by Jack and they include one of his own poetry, short stories of China and even a survey of industries in Thailand. I now realise it's not exactly true that he only wrote one book, though he was probably at his best with the bite sized piece.
And soon there will be another one, my own edited collection of his writings in China about the Friends Ambulance Unit, many bites making for a tasty menu of stories.
JACK JONES-A TRUE FRIEND TO CHINA should be out soon. I'm now pretty impatient after five years' research.
Friday, 16 January 2015
After five years of research on the Friends Ambulance Unit 'China Convoy' we're so nearly there. Earnshaw Books in Shanghai have finalised the cover, we have agonised through fifteen drafts of digital proofs, tweaking and editing incessantly, and now it's time for the printers to produce a mock-up of the book for final approval. In March I am flying to Yunnan, China and with other FAU friends will take a tour of the Burma Road and some of the places that Jack Jones and his men worked in the forties. Then on to Hong Kong and on March 27th I will be giving a talk to the Royal Asiatic Society about the 'China Convoy'. If all goes well a parcel of books will meet me there and I'll be able to show them off and sell them at the talk. It's going to be a large format book, lavishly illustrated and with a unit cost for printing of about £15 it had better be good. Wow! I can't wait.
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Guess I like my cars and there was no better year than the open road in the summer of sixty nine with hazy Jane, rollin' down the highway and getting my kicks on the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway in a great grey Pontiac GTO. Foot hard down, steering one-handed, my extra-tanned left arm out the window,and enjoying the scream of somebody else's rubber on hot tarmac as we stormed up through the hairpins. Auto driveaway from New York to Fort Lauderdale. All we paid was the gas!
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
Monday, 6 October 2014
Part of my research into the adventures of Jack Reynolds in China with the Friends Ambulance Unit distributing medical supplies in the nineteen forties has been collecting photos. I had nothing to start with but by tracing families of former FAU members I have managed to build up a fine collection to illustrate my book. What follows is an arbitrary selection, chosen mainly because they are of low definition that should post easily.
Thursday, 18 September 2014
My drop dead gorgeous Toyota pickup is for sale. To be seen in Sangkha, Surin province, you won't find one cheaper with under 30,000 kilometres on the clock. This time it's not a joke and I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. This picture appears in MY THAI GIRL AND I so the truck's famous too!
Thursday, 11 September 2014
I have been silent on this blog for quite a time for two reasons, first I have been locked out and unable to post as they think I'm an intruder, but suddenly today I'm back in again. And secondly I have been distracted by researching and writing about the 'China Convoy'. [Paragraph] Further down this blog are some articles about 'Jack Reynolds', the mysterious author of the seminal novel, "A WOMAN OF BANGKOK", in which I ask for help to discover who he was. Well, now I know and have even written a book about him. He finally settled in Bangkok working for Unicef and had a family of seven children but the reason he came out east from England was because he was a pacifist and did alternative service in China in the nineteen forties. [Paragraph] The photo's of a bearded Jack in 1946 in Chungking where he was transport director for the Friends Ambulance Units 'China Convoy' This was a Quaker relief project which distributed medical supplies and services throughout China for almost ten years from the Japanese invasion to the communist 'liberation'. [Paragraph] Jack's story in China is an amazing one, full of adventures and accidents and is well worth telling. Called A TRUE FRIEND TO CHINA, 'The lost writings of a heroic nobody', my soon to be published book is an edited collection of the articles Jack wrote for the FAU newsletter that was put together and circulated to all its staff in China. [Paragraph] He was a great blogger long before blogging and I've thoroughly enjoyed doing the book, even if it has meant that my writings on Thailand have ground to a halt. Perhaps at least I'm back in my blog and it can come back to life.