Greenway, Alice 1964(?)-
Greenway, Alice 1964(?)-
Born c. 1964, in Washington, DC; daughter of David Greenway (a foreign correspondent); married Tim Cornwell (a journalist); children: two. Education: Attended Yale University.
Author; former reporter in Hong Kong with the South China Morning Post.
White Ghost Girls (novel), Black Cat (New York, NY), 2006.
Alice Greenway's first novel, White Ghost Girls, is based in part on her experiences growing up as the daughter of a war correspondent in Asia in the 1960s and 1970s. As the daughter of reporter David Greenway—who covered the Vietnam War for Time and the Washington Post—Greenway spent much of her childhood in exotic locations such as Hong Kong, Israel, and Bangkok. "I spent five years as a child in Hong Kong and when I moved back to the U.S. as a teenager I felt like I carried the place round inside me," she told interviewer Adam Luck in the Hong Kong Weekly Standard. "No one could see or understand that and I just wanted to express a part of me that I felt was so important."
White Ghost Girls tells the story of two American expatriate sisters, Frankie and Kate, and their experiences growing up in Hong Kong during the turbulent 1960s. The novel concentrates in particular on the summer of 1967—a time when the Vietnam War was heating up for the United States and when Mao Zedong's "Cultural Revolution" was in full swing on the Chinese mainland. Although Hong Kong was a British colony at that time, it was close enough to China and to Vietnam to be affected by the events in its neighboring states. Kate and Frankie are caught up in the troubles after they are kidnapped, and Kate is coerced into delivering a bomb to the police to secure her sister's release. When it explodes, it kills a woman and seriously injures a boy.
The explosion changes everything for both Frankie and Kate. The two, who are both separated from the culture in which they live and cut off from their American roots, related Financial Times contributor Claudia Webb, have become "white ghost girls," who "wrestle with their identities as sisters and as maturing young women." From that moment on, noted Vendela Vida in the New York Times, Frankie in particular "becomes unpredictable and flamboyantly sexual, flirting with her father's friends and seducing a boy she barely knows." As a result, narrator Kate is caught between her own need for her father's attention, a budding romance with a Chinese boy, and her desire to save her sister by confiding in their father. It takes a tragedy to finally bring the family together. "Reading White Ghost Girls," declared Terry Miller Shannon on Bookreporter.com, "feels like drifting, fear-filled, through a foreign land within a sultry dream while being pierced through with Kate's emotions: love, jealousy, passion, loss and longing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2005, Joanne Wilkinson, review of White Ghost Girls, p. 18.
Entertainment Weekly, February 24, 2006, Jennifer Reese, review of White Ghost Girls, p. 69.
Financial Times, January 14, 2006, Claudia Webb, review of White Ghost Girls, p. 33.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2005, review of White Ghost Girls, p. 1045.
Kliatt, March, 2006, Heather Lisowski, review of White Ghost Girls, p. 22.
Library Journal, November 15, 2005, Eleanor J. Bader, review of White Ghost Girls, p. 61.
Publishers Weekly, October 17, 2005, review of White Ghost Girls, p. 39.
School Library Journal, May, 2006, Kim Dare, review of White Ghost Girls, p. 165.
Asian Review of Books Online,http://www.asianreviewofbooks.com/ (September 24, 2006), Peter Gordon, review of White Ghost Girls.
Baltimore City Paper Online,http://www.citypaper.com/ (September 24, 2006), Linda Chavers, review of White Ghost Girls.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (September 24, 2006), Terry Miller Shannon, review of White Ghost Girls.
Hong Kong Weekly Standard Online,http://www.thestandard.com.hk/ (September 24, 2006), Adam Luck, "Ghosts of Girlhood," interview with Alice Greenway.
Independent Online,http://independent.co.uk/ (September 24, 2006), Laurence Phelan, review of White Ghost Girls.
New York Times Online,http://www.nytimes.com/ (September 24, 2006), Vendela Vida, "A Rumor of War."
San Diego Union-Tribune Online,http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/ (September 24, 2006), Tiffany Lee-Youngren, "In Search of a Father's Love."
Sunday Times Online,http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ (September 24, 2006), Adrian Turpin, "A Literary Bomb Ready to Explode."