A GRYPHON YEAR

by Priscilla Thomson Jackson


Formats

Softcover
£17.66
Hardcover
£23.58
Softcover
£17.66

Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 6/18/2012

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 596
ISBN : 9781467873130
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 596
ISBN : 9781467873123

About the Book

This historic year is vividly pictured as a young American surgeon and Canadian wife dare to enter exotic Manchu (Ch’ing) Empire only a decade after the Empress Dowager’s ‘Boxers’ massacred foreigners. Admired as missionaries, deeply in love, Nell – on the ocean liner - begins to doubt James’ judgment. James, eager to bring modern medicine to antique China, is shocked by the shabbiness of his assigned Hospital-of-Last-Resort with only male apprentices as aides. He faces poor patients with monstrous tumors, plague, stones, does operations never observed, is opposed by unbelievable superstitions. Astonishingly, the ‘foreign doctor’ (true) is called to Military Headquarters where the Vice-roy of the two Kwang Provinces -- as large as Germany -- has called brilliantly robed Mandarins – Ministers of Army, Navy, Law, Treasury, Literary chancellor. Why? Unknown anarchists tried to assonate the Tartar General! Is Revolution brewing? On return, James’ sedan chair is waylaid by Ming Secret Society dissidents. Different Chinese factions seek James’ USA support. Pretty teacher, impetuous Stephanie, sponsors ‘returned student’ radicals. Medical assistants-- for Republic therefore anti-Manchu (very dangerous) -- hide a rebel in his ‘neutral’ Hospital. Chinese Officials in Manchu Administration expect support for their Self-Strengthening moderates. Meanwhile Nell struggles with her new house knowing no Cantonese, then with intelligent cook-helper knowing no English. Sir Gladwyn, British diplomat, takes her to ancient pagoda; she climbs inside! Shocked at primitive child-birthing in this ‘medieval’ village, she’s chased as Blue-Eyed Witch! Visiting the British Yamên they hear a threatening rocket. Returning to Hospital, James is captured by the Manchu General, is horrified at cruel but brilliant strategy, watches Manchus win historic Battle of Seventy-Two Heroes. Mr.Colocott, Hong Kong tea exporter, Mr.Paronel, British consul, M.Zinôt, disillusioned but fluent French liaison, Mr. Fa, Hospital pharmacist, argue with the North Americans, fearful and fascinated, as this tumultuous year -1910 - will change World History.


About the Author

The author was born in China, her doctor-grandfather and grandmother traveling to the mysterious Chinese Empire in 1881. Their children returned after education in Canada, including the author’s doctor-father and his wife to the same Canton Hospital – the first ‘western’(scientific) hospital in China. Schooled in a two-room schoolhouse in Paak Hok Tung down the Pearl River, loved Geography and Art by college-grad. missionary wives. At Shanghai American School (SAS) she was Editor of the Annual, danced in a quartet -- Chinese Boxing, co-won the Chinese History Prize. A semester out at St. Steven’s (Chinese) Girls School in Hong Kong as one of seven noisy ‘Colonials’ while Japanese captured Shanghai. Returning to Canton’s sand-bagged Hospital she felt the rage at saturation bombing and then the helpless fear of an Occupied City held by often-drunken soldiers. To USA for Political Science at Oberlin College, volunteered for a summer work-camp in Cleveland ‘slum’ organized by Seminarian Walter Neale Jackson from maritime New Bedford. Married him, transferred to University of Chicago. While her children were in school, she was admitted to Detroit Women Writers. Summers were spent cruising Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, down to Miami. Admitted to Breadloaf Writers Conference, and encouraged by Allen Drury, admitted to Esquire Writers Conference with Saul Bellow. She has made homes in big city, small town, village and countryside, also slum, suburb housing project, boats and marinas .She has enjoyed pet cats, dogs, horses, roosters and hens, but really not pigs, been curious about resident mice, squirrels, woodchucks. She loves family and flowers and writing. In her empty nest professional period, she took an MA at Michigan State, programmed for women at Wayne State, Oakland U, Michigan.