My mother is a Chaozhouese; I have always been fascinated by the culture and history of this promising region situated on the eastern seaboard of the province of Guangdong. Despite the recognized significance of the Chaozhouese community in Chinese and Asian history, we have long been waiting for a solid and comprehensive study in English that brings to life the vibrant story of this maritime prefecture. How did this initially poor and “phenomenally ungovernable corner” (p. 3) of Southeast China eventually emerge among the trading masters, such as the Fujianese and Cantonese, in the South China Sea at the turn of the twentieth century? Melissa Macauley's delightful and inspiring book, published in 2021, will be read with interest and enjoyment by historians and laypeople alike. Consisting of eleven chapters, Distant Shores is structured both chronologically and thematically, with references to primary sources written in Chinese and English, as well as...

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