Claire Chao is the co-author of the Amazon bestselling Remembering Shanghai: A Memoir of Socialites, Scholars and Scoundrels with her mother, Isabel Sun Chao.
Remembering Shanghai won two awards from the Independent Author Network in 2018: Winner, OUTSTANDING MEMOIR and Second Place, BOOK OF THE YEAR.
Claire spent a decade creating Remembering Shanghai after thirty years in luxury brand management for firms such as Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston and Hill & Knowlton. She graduated with highest honors from Princeton University and was named to Avenue magazine’s “500 Most Influential Asian Americans” and Hong Kong Tatler’s “Who’s Who in Hong Kong.”
In 2018, she presented the book at a sold-out session at the Shanghai International Literary Festival, the Princeton University Art Museum, the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, Asia Society Hong Kong and the Singapore Writers Festival.
Although unaware of it at the time, as a youth she continually sought connections to her parents’ Shanghai homeland. While researching her family stories, she uncovered an uncanny link with the grandfather she’d never met.
Interviewed at the 2018 Hong Kong International Literary Festival
Remembering Shanghai: A Memoir of Socialites, Scholars and Scoundrels
Nonfiction - Memoir
Claire Chao tells the story of Remembering Shanghai – accompanied by evocative period photographs and visuals – following five generations from imperial China to modern-day Hong Kong. Isabel grows up in the wealthy Sun family in glamorous 1930s and ’40s Shanghai. When Mao comes to power, she journeys to Hong Kong, unaware that she will never see her father again. Six decades later, she returns to Shanghai with her daughter Claire to confront their complex past – one they discover is filled with love and betrayal, kidnappers and concubines, glittering pleasure palaces and underworld crime bosses. By turns harrowing and heartwarming, this lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched memoir explores identity, loss and redemption against the epic backdrop of a country in turmoil.