SECOND DAUGHTER: Growing Up in China, 1930-1949



Novel, 196 pp.: St. Martin's Press, NY, 1979 (hard cover); George Allen & Unwin, 1980 (hard cover); Vivisphere Publishing, 2002 (soft cover)

This novel chronicles the espionage and card-playing exploits of Captain Diggery Piper, a flamboyant expert first created by Terry Quinn for a fiction serial in Games Magazine. Just as Carroll's Through the Looking Glass and Nabokov's The Defense are structured in accordance with the rules and logic of chess, so the action of this tale is patterned on the psychological intricacies of bridge. The reader inhabits a house of cards that tumbles into a surprise ending.



"Terry Quinn offers us a novel with distinct literary quality: action and introspection merge smoothly into an acceptable unity. ... You do not need to be a bridge player to enjoy his story of a rather strange foursome ascending unexpectedly to the rarefied heights of the tournament world. But for readers who are also bridge players it will become clear that the author plays as well as he writes, and writes as well as he plays."

Alan Truscott, The New York Times


"Terry Quinn leads from strength in this witty jaunt through the worlds of championship bridge and espionage. The chronicle of The Piper Quartet's rise, with diagrams appended, will mesmerize any bridge fanatic."

Publishers Weekly


Book party, Washington, DC, 1980


To purchase: / (1-800-724-1100) ISBN 1-58776-070-3



Photo by Michael Gyory


Novel, 411 pp.: Vivisphere Publishing, NY, 1999 (hard cover and soft cover)

Love, sex and death collide in this darkly comic story of two neighbors who witness a murder on their quiet street in Brooklyn. Jerry and Vanessa's impulsive attempt to right a senseless wrong soon leads to career ruin and emotional mayhem, a desperate flight to California, and a quest for redemption.

To purchase: / (1-800-724-1100) ISBN 1-892323-16-8







SECOND DAUGHTER: Growing Up in China, 1930-1949

Biography, 243 pp., co-authored with Katherine Wei: Little, Brown, 1984 (hard cover); Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1985 (soft cover); Harvill/Collins, 1985 (hard cover); published in China, 1986

This story of war, family rivalry and unrequited love covers the years from Katherine Wei's birth in 1930 to her departure for America shortly after the Japanese invasion of China. The action moves from the stately splendors of Peking, her birthplace, to the feudal remoteness of her grandfather's ancestral home in Hunan, to war-torn Chungking, to Shanghai in the days just preceding the Communist takeover.



"Second Daughter is a compelling account of upper-class life in pre-Mao China. ... Mrs. Wei and her collaborator, Terry Quinn, have assembled a brisk narrative animated by pungent character sketches. The portraits of Wei's ineffectual father, and of Alice her older sister, pretty, naively romantic and doomed, have the spontaneity of fresh, unpeeled Polaroids. ... Best of all, perhaps, is the one of Lao Chang, the Yangs' humpbacked cook, who played the role of confidant to Katherine and Alice with unmitigated affection. ... The authors wisely focus not on the large events overtaking China but on the emotions Wei and her family experienced in the final days before her departure for the West."

Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"This story of Katherine Wei's coming of age illuminates, by indirection, her country's loss of historical innocence. It has the admirable effect of investing China's history with a tangy personal dimension."

The New York Times, " New and Noteworthy"

"The authors write with unflinching honesty about the complex, changing love-hate relationships within Wei's family, at the same time as they light up the conflicts within China."

The Washington Post Book World

"Family clashes, vivid personalities, exotic settings, the beat of history: a personal story of pre-Revolutionary China with all the ingredients of a fictional saga."

Kirkus Reviews

"The Chinese locales of Peking, Hunan, Chungking and Shanghai during the 1930's and 1940's form the backdrop for this intense memoir of family bonds. ... Wei and Quinn weave a tale that fills ordinary events with unusual power. ... Like Margaret Gaan's Last Moments of a World and Ching-li Chow's Journey in Tears, it also describes the closing days of Chiang Kai-shek's regime in Shanghai. ... A fine example of its genre."

Library Journal

"This story is engrossing and provides an unsentimental view of a long-lost world."

The Times Literary Supplement

"A book of great strength, beauty and truth."

Han Suyin, author of Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing


To purchase: ISBN 0-316-92811-9



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