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The Worm Hole Podcast Episode 51: Janie Chang (The Library Of Legends)

Charlie and Janie Chang (The Library Of Legends) discuss the incredible journeys made by Chinese university students, during the 1937 Japanese invasion, as they evacuated their campuses and made their way on foot to safer areas of the country. We also discuss the Shanghai International Settlement and Janie’s compelling family history.

Janie’s article on the TIME website, ‘The Risky Journey That Saved One of China’s Greatest Literary Treasures’
Blog post: The Difficult Daughter (about her paternal grandmother)
Blog post: The Idle Son (paternal grandfather)
Blog post: The Years of War
Blog post: The Village Doctor (Dr Mao)
Blog post: The Origins of Nightmares (father’s university years during the war)
Du Fu
Sophie’s Choice, named after the book and film, relates to making an impossibly difficult choice, which is forced on a person.
The Shanghai International Settlement
Empire of the Sun (film)
About the monument honouring Chinese workers in WW1

Release details: recorded 9th November 2021; published 13th December 2021

Janie’s social media: Website || Twitter || Facebook || Instagram

You can contact the show at

Go back to the list of episodes

Show notes:

Question Index
Book Purchasing Links
Photo Credit Line

Question Index

00:44 [This becomes a longer discussion] Can you tell us about your blog, which is filled with your family’s stories?
11:36 Your father and uncle were university students who were evacuated like your characters?
16:49 How do the myths and legends in your book align to the myths and legends told in real life?
18:41 Within the fantasy of your book, what would have happened to the gods in regards to the progress of science and so forth?
21:45 Were the students all okay – did they get through the war?
24:12 Was Doctor Mao and this side of the story influenced by your mother’s family history?
26:57 You’ve mentioned the International Settlement – can you tell us more about it?
29:28 The stories in your book of refugee parents leaving their children behind whilst on the road, did this happen a lot?
30:57 In the history, a couple of years after your book finishes, the International Settlement was invaded and taken over. What would have happened to your characters?
33:03 Why was it important to have the romance in your book?
35:48 What’s next – what are you writing now?

Purchasing Links
Book Cover

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Photograph used with the permission of the author.


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