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White Ghost Girls

White Ghost Girls

Author(s): Alice Greenway

Location(s): Hong Kong

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): Late 1960s



The narrator, the reticent Kate, who is 12, and her teenage sister, the boisterous Frankie, are American girls living in Hong Kong in the summer of 1967. Their father, Michael, a photographer for Time magazine, spends most of each month in Vietnam. When he’s home, he develops his pictures and the girls sneak into his darkroom, which becomes a depository for all things related to the war: a Vietnamese-English dictionary, slivers of shrapnel from his leg, a stolen AK-47. Kate describes how he “tacks his photographs up on the walls of his darkroom, a former laundry room. A soldier shoots through the open door of a Huey. ‘Squirrel hunting,’ my father’s scribbled underneath. A tall, sad-faced marine lifts an old Vietnamese woman from the rubble of a burned-out house. The woman’s arms stick out stiffly, as if she’s scared of being touched. ‘Saving Tuyet Diem,’ my father’s written.” New York Times

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Lead Review

The author creates a really evocative picture of Hong Kong during the time of the Vietnam war. Stunning images and decriptions, I was almost there with Kate, the narrator. it is a fairly short...

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021