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domingo, 15 de março de 2020

Emily Hahn e Charles Boxer, uma história fascinante (New York Times, 1997)

From The New York Times (1997): o Charles Boxer referido nesta matéria sobre Emily Hahn é simplesmente o maior historiador do império marítimo português, falecido em 2000, objeto de uma monumental biografia do historiador Dauril Alden: Charles R. Boxer: an Uncommon Life, Soldier, Historian, Teacher, Collector, Traveller (Lisboa: Fundação Oriente, 2001, 616 páginas em grande formato; ISBN: 972-785-023-05).
Recomendo igualmente a leitura deste longo artigo sobre Charles Boxer pelo historiador brasilianista Kenneth Maxwell: 
The C.R. Boxer Affaire: Heroes, Traitors, and the Manchester Guardian
Author: Kenneth R. Maxwell, Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, March 16, 2001

Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Emily Hahn, Chronicler of Her Own Exploits, Dies at 92
The New Yor Times, February 19, 1997, Section B, Page 7

Emily Hahn, early feminist and prolific author who wrote 54 books and more than 200 articles for New Yorker, dies at age 92

Emily Hahn, an early feminist and a prolific author who wrote 54 books and more than 200 articles for The New Yorker, died yesterday at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center in Manhattan. She was 92, said her daughter, Carola Boxer Vecchio.
Ms. Hahn was known for her writings about her adventurous life in the Far East before World War II and for her books on such diverse subjects as Africa, D. H. Lawrence and apes. (Ms. Hahn kept gibbons.) She also worked as a Hollywood screenwriter during the 1920's.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Hahn wrote about Chinese cooking, about feminism (''Once Upon a Pedestal: An Informal History of Women's Lib,'' 1974) and about diamonds (''Diamond: The Spectacular Story of Earth's Rarest Treasure and Man's Greatest Greed,'' 1956). Another work was ''The Islands: America's Imperial Adventures in the Philippines'' (1981). In her later years, Ms. Hahn wrote several books about animals, including ''Eve and the Apes'' (1988), about women who owned apes. In ''Look Who's Talking'' (1988), she examined communication between beasts, and between beasts and humans.
Emily Hahn was born in St. Louis, where her father, Isaac Newton Hahn, was a salesman. At a time when few middle-class women had careers, she was determined to be a mining engineer. But her adviser at the University of Wisconsin told her, she once said, that the female mind was ''incapable of grasping mechanics or higher mathematics.'' That remark only hardened her resolve, and she stayed on, graduating in 1926. She is believed to be the first woman to earn a degree in mining engineering at the university. She worked for a year for the Deko Oil Company of St. Louis but grew bored with the work.
Her career as an author began in 1924, when she took a trip across the country in a Model T Ford, and her letters home so captivated her brother-in-law that he sent them to The New Yorker, which bought some of them. In 1930, her first book, ''Seductio ad Absurdum: The Principles and Practices of Seduction -- A Beginner's Handbook,'' was published.
Inspired by Charles A. Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic, Ms. Hahn decided she wanted to be ''free,'' she said, and in 1930 she embarked on a journey to Africa, where she worked in a hospital and lived with a tribe of Pygmies.
In 1935, The New Yorker hired her to be its China correspondent. China was the place, Ms. Hahn once said, that had the greatest impact on her life. She arrived during the period of the Communist revolution and the war against the Japanese, and made the acquaintance of Mao Zedong and Chou En-lai. She also became a confidante of the Soong sisters, one of whom married Sun Yat-sen, another Chiang Kai-shek, and in 1941 published ''The Soong Sisters,'' a biography.
While in China, Ms. Hahn had an affair with Sinmay Zau, an aristocratic intellectual whom she described as her ''cultural and political guide to China.'' She also spent time in opium dens, eventually becoming addicted to the drug, she said.
''I was young and I thought it was romantic to smoke opium,'' she told The Washington Post. ''I was quite determined. It took me a year or so to become addicted, but I kept at it.'' Later, she said, ''I went to a man who hypnotized me and sure enough, I didn't want it any more.''
In Hong Kong, Ms. Hahn met Maj. Charles Boxer, a British intelligence officer in the Far East. He was already married, but they began an affair. In 1940 she became pregnant. At a time when such pregnancies were often kept secret, she chose not only to keep her baby daughter, Carola, but to proclaim her birth proudly.
Soon after their daughter's birth, Major Boxer was captured by the Japanese and put in a prison camp. For some months, Ms. Hahn brought food to him there, avoiding repatriation by claiming to be Eurasian. But fearing for the safety of her daughter, she fled Hong Kong in 1943. Major Boxer survived his captivity. Ms. Hahn married him in 1945, and they had a second child, Amanda. Ms. Hahn described her wartime romance in her 1944 book, ''China to Me: A Partial Autobiography.''
At The New Yorker, Ms. Hahn became one of the few writers to work for all four of its editors, Harold Ross, William Shawn, Robert Gottlieb and Tina Brown. She and her husband often lived an ocean apart, with Ms. Hahn, because of British tax laws, spending no more than 91 days a year in England while Major Boxer remained at their home in Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire.
Ms. Hahn continued writing until the end of her life, including an article about Amanda's dog published this month in a British magazine. In December, Ms. Hahn had her first poem published in The New Yorker, ''Wind Blowing.''
Ms. Hahn is survived by her husband; her daughters, Carola, of Jackson Heights, Queens, and Amanda, of London; two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
''My younger daughter once rebuked me for not being the kind of mother one reads about,'' Ms. Hahn once told an interviewer. ''I asked her what kind that was, and she said, the kind who sits home and bakes cakes. I told her to go and find anybody who sits at home and bakes cakes.''

A version of this article appears in print on Feb. 19, 1997, Section B, Page 7 of the National edition with the headline: Emily Hahn, Chronicler of Her Own Exploits, Dies at 92.

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