From Peoria to Shanghai: Literary Salon Host Bernardine Szold Fritz
Talk and Slideshow
with Susan Blumberg-Kason, author Bernardine’s Shanghai Salon: The Story of the Doyenne of Old China


WHEN: Tuesday, March 12, 2024; cocktails 6-7 p.m. and program 7-8 p.m.

WHERE: The Cliff Dwellers, 200 S Michigan Ave., 22nd floor penthouse

COST: Free & open to all; $5 donation suggested


Books will be available for purchase and signing after the program.


Bernardine Szold Fritz was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. At the age of 19, she acted in the Chicago Little Theatre, housed in the Fine Arts Building. She went on to work as a journalist alongside Carl Sandburg and Ernest Hemingway before moving to New York and Paris in the 1920s. In 1929 she moved to Shanghai to marry a silver broker from North Dakota. It was in Shanghai that she started a literary salon and became the first person to bring together Chinese and expat writers, actors, musicians, and dancers. Susan Blumberg-Kason will speak about her new book, Bernardine’s Shanghai Salon, and will show how Bernardine’s Midwestern roots went on to influence her work in Shanghai.


Susan Blumberg-Kason is the author of Bernardine’s Shanghai Salon: The Story of the Doyenne of Old China and Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong. She is also the co-editor of Hong Kong Noir. Susan is a regular contributor to the Asian Review of Books and World Literature Today. Born, raised, and now based in the Chicago suburbs, Susan has a forthcoming book out this September, When Friends Come From Afar: The Remarkable Story of Bernie Wong and Chicago’s Chinese American Service League.


Author Susan Blumberg-Kason. Front cover,


To learn more, contact Mary Wisniewski: [email protected] or Sharon Woodhouse: [email protected].