Read the chatscript from Dan Kalla’s October 4, 2013 visit to LitChat here.
It’s 1943, and the Japanese war machine has swallowed up Shanghai, the once-thriving “Paris of the East,” upending life for its Chinese population as well as the city’s thousands of American, British and officially stateless European residents. Newlyweds Dr. Franz Adler and his wife, Soon Yi (Sunny), struggle to keep the city’s only hospital for refugee Jews open, but Hitler’s murderous agenda reaches beyond Europe’s borders to Shanghai, forcing thousands of Jewish detainees into a ghetto within the city’s squalid slums.
Within the Shanghai Ghetto, the residents grapple with hunger, disease, and menace, but they are determined to survive with their dignity and culture intact. And when Ernst Muhler, a friend from the past, unexpectedly appears, Franz’s life takes a turn into a dangerous new territory. Drawn by a mysterious Chinese patient, he and Sunny venture into the perilous ranks of Shanghai’s growing Resistance movement, while Franz’s daughter joins a smuggling ring active inside the ghetto.
But as the tide of the war begins turning in the rest of the world, the local Nazis maintain a persistent, menacing interest in Shanghai’s Jewish population. Rising Sun, Falling Shadow blends a rich portrait of a city under siege with medical drama, romance and the intrigue of Alan Furst’s Mission to Paris, showing us both the heroism and the treachery that can result when ordinary people find themselves faced with extraordinary dangers.
Daniel Kalla is the international bestselling author of Pandemic, Resistance, Rage Therapy, Blood Lies, Cold Plague, and Of Flesh and Blood. His books have been translated into eleven languages. Two novels have been optioned for film. Kalla practices emergency medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he lives with his family.
Follow Daniel Kalla on Twitter: @DanielKalla.