Skip to main content
Cover for Host of Memories

Host of Memories

Tales of Inevitable Happenstance

Peter Rupert Lighte


List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Host of Memories is a collection of stories stemming from the life of Peter Rupert Lighte, sinologist and founding chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank China. The book begins during Peter’s childhood and meanders eloquently through his adult years. In luscious descriptions, he portrays the drama and security of his Jewish New York upbringing melting into his struggle, as a quizzical young man, to hone his ideas on life while traversing the continents, discovering his sexuality, and ultimately finding himself in anything but a tidy fashion.

Artfully navigating between Europe and Asia and finally making his way back to Princeton, where he had previously studied, the author traipses through diverse social and cultural climates, finding niches into which he fits and reveling in terrain where he is not so sure. Whether living in London or Beijing, he is the epitome of a flaneur who endeavors to inhabit the adventuresome worlds he describes; in Princeton he is home.

Over the course of the book, the author’s effort to find his true identity blooms into a celebration of his life, which takes on new meaning with the adoption of his Chinese daughters. In his words: “It was Hattie and Tillie, rather than a diverse world, who sorted me out.” As a tourist, observer, homebody, and active participant, he uncovers the greatest significance in episodes that are freed from the leash of causality.

Praise For Host of Memories: Tales of Inevitable Happenstance

“I couldn’t put down Peter Lighte’s Host of Memories until I had finished it.”
—Alison Klayman, Director, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

“With a lively sense of humor and no holds barred, [these] stories reveal the roots and development of a man deeply committed to and appreciative of family and friends.” —Tom Gorman, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Fortune China

“An utterly charming book. . . Perfect bedtime reading.” —Anne-Marie Slaughter, president/CEO of the New America Foundation and professor emerita at Princeton University

Acausal Books, 9780991252978, 344pp.

Publication Date: May 5, 2015