TO PURCHASE THIS BOOK: FRENCHTOWN by Lawrence Jeffery. $19.95, 176 pages.
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Anything new happens first in Shanghai, and the wrecker’s ball is making way for the coming change in times. Some wish to leave because of uncertainty over the country’s future direction. Others want to leave for greater economic opportunities in the West.

And some remain, their lives entangled in the mounting uncertainty. Frenchtown brings together Tess, an American archivist and resident of Shanghai for over twenty years, Canadian writer DJ, who is looking for his ancestral home in Shanghai’s old French Concession, DJ’s father, James, who is a boozy and gruff WWII hero searching for his estranged son since the recent death of his wife, and Xinhua journalist Sam, who retains an unshakeable faith in China’s ultimate and glorious destiny.

In this crucial time of transition, China is a country of many systems. The play is an examination of family and the power of place to force people to confront uncomfortable truths as China faces its own uncertain future.

Lawrence Jeffery, of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, has had his dramas performed, published, and translated since 1982. He is also a co-founder and a director of the Impossible Odds Foundation, which raises money to support children in need internationally. Exile Editions brought out both Four Plays and Who Look in Stove.


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