Author(s): Tyl von Randow
Imagine the flipside of Empire of the Sun. A German boy grows up in Shanghai's International Settlement in the shadow of World War II. He is the son of a diplomat and lives a sheltered, privileged life. But his world is changing.
It is the time of the Japanese occupation, Chennault's Flying Tigers, the atom bomb, the Japanese surrender and Mao's Red Army gathering in the hills. This memoir tells of the personal loss and change that those crossfire times bring to the boy's family. It also tells of the love and courage that help him through. The family flees Red China and in 1952 finds a new home in New Zealand. The boy is fourteen. Sixty years later he dusts off his memories and writes them down.
After his childhood in Shanghai, Tyl von Randow's family settled in New Zealand where he completed his education and studied architecture. He practised as an architect in NZ and the UK and has received two design awards. He has performed in the theatre and on film and still finds time to sing, play music and paint. He lives close to the sea and surrounded by bush in the Waitakare Ranges on Auckland's West Coast. Although he has travelled widely, he has never returned to China.