© 2022 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Exploring the parallels of the 1949 Chinese exodus and today's refugee crisis




On this edition of Your Call, we speak with Chinese-American journalist and writer Helen Zia about her new book, Last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao's Revolution. Zia tells the story through the eyes of four young people who fled Shanghai during the Communist revolution in 1949.

Drawing from hundreds of interviews, Zia retells these experiences with rich and harrowing detail. How do war, foreign occupation, and exile shape families and futures, and change the way we see ourselves and those around us?


Helen Zia, journalist, activist, and author of Last Boat Out of Shanghai

Web Resources:

The Wall Street Journal: ‘Last Boat Out of Shanghai’ Review: Gone With the Wind

Financial Times: Last Boat out of Shanghai by Helen Zia — gone but never forgotten

SF Chronicle: An excerpt from ‘Last Boat Out of Shanghai,’ by Helen Zia


Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.