Latest Publications

Tom Carter: video interview and new book

Watch this video interview with photographer Tom Carter in ChinaFile, the Asia Society’s online magazine.

Backpacking photographer Tom Carter somehow succeeded in circumnavigating over 35,000 miles (56,000 kilometers) across all 33 provinces in China during a 2-year period, the first foreigner on record ever to do so.

What Carter found along the way, and what his photographs ultimately reveal, is that China is not just one place, one people, but 33 distinct geographical regions populated by 56 different ethnicities, each with their own languages, customs and lifestyles.

Tom has also edited a new collection of China travel stories entitled Unsavory Elements — you can see pictures from the Hong Kong launch event in this Facebook album.


“My Private China” in Time Out

Time Out Hong Kong magazine reviews our latest book, My Private China:

When you sit down with Alex Kuo, you’re instantly put at ease. The acclaimed Chinese American author has a calming influence, an elegantly mannered way of speaking and a carefully relaxed tone.

And that, to us, is pretty surprising. Here’s a man who’s just launched his latest book, My Private China, in Hong Kong and it’s basically a tome which, through the use of letters, essays, fiction and even poetry, attempts to show the world many aspects of the Middle Kingdom – and Hong Kong, in places – which it would probably prefer to remain hidden. It’s a bold move.

See the full interview or read some excerpts from the book.

Book launch: Unsavory Elements — Stories of foreigners on the loose in China

Join us at the Hong Kong launch of Unsavory Elements: a riveting anthology of vivid stories and essays from some of the most celebrated writers to have ever lived in China.

“Westerners are flocking to the PRC in increasing numbers to chase their dreams even as Chinese emigrants seek their own dreams abroad. Life as an outsider in China has many sides to it — weird, fascinating and appalling, sometimes all together. We asked foreigners who live or have lived in China for a significant period to tell us a story of their experiences and 28 contributions resulted. It’s all about living, learning and loving in a land unlike any other in the world.”

The book was launched to a packed house at the Shanghai literary festival last month. Read a review. On May 23, five of the book’s authors — Tom Carter, Graham Earnshaw, Bruce Humes, Pete Spurrier and Nury Vittachi — will be talking about their China experiences at a panel event and booksigning in Hong Kong.

Date: Thursday May 23, 2013, 6.30-8.00pm

Place: Bookazine, 3/F, Prince’s Building, Central, Hong Kong

Free of charge, all welcome, wine will be served!

Book launch: My Private China, by Alex Kuo

What do normal people in China look forward to when they get up in the morning? What is the mentor of Lang Lang like? What about the personal friend of Chairman Mao – and how does his granddaughter relate to him after the murderous Cultural Revolution? What do the numerous evangelical Americans really think of the Chinese? How does the One Country, Two Systems paradigm work for Hong Kong?

For the last 73 years, American Book Award winner Alex Kuo has travelled back-and-forth between America and China. These letters and essays portray the private China, and provide indispensable cultural information for anyone interested in the People’s Republic in the 21st century.

Come and join us at the book launch for My Private China at 5-7pm on Saturday May 18 at Bookazine in Prince’s Building, Central, Hong Kong!

Alex Kuo will also be signing books at Kelly and Walsh in Pacific Place, Hong Kong, at 5.30pm on Monday May 20.

Click on either of the images for full details.


New exhibition by artist Lorette Roberts: May 9-12

Hong Kong Noir

Our newest book, Hong Kong Noir: Fifteen true tales from the dark side of the city, has been on the South China Morning Post‘s top five bestseller list since Christmas. Author Feng Chi-shun has been interviewed by RTHK Radio 3 and HK Magazine, and the book has been reviewed by Susan Blumberg-Kason, the SCMP and Asia Times, which said:

Who can resist a story told by a pathologist about a hemophiliac, Ah Fai, who chooses to join the notorious 14K triad at the tender age of 15 and enjoys nothing more than the bloodletting of a full-on, violent street fight?

As you might guess, Ah Fai spends a lot of time in the intensive care unit of hospitals, where his striking good looks and unusual charm make him something of a celebrity to the doctors and nurses who treat him. Their affection for the reckless gangster spurs them to work especially hard to save him every time he shows up awash in his own blood at an emergency ward. In the end, however, it turns out there is only so much anyone can do for a hemophiliac who has made such a poor career choice.

We print this story below.


The Hemophiliac

Hemophilia: A hereditary disease characterized by a defect in the clotting of blood.

Hemophiliac: A person who suffers from hemophilia.

Every story about a hemophiliac is worth telling.

This is the story of a young man, Hong Kong born and bred, who suffered from hemophilia from birth and died of its complications at the age of 25.

Hemophilia is a disease which teaches medical students more about genetics than all others. The pathogenesis of the disease is the deficiency of a clotting agent in the blood (a “Factor” in medical vernacular) known as Factor VIII.

Although other “Factors” in our blood are known to be deficient, some congenital, some acquired, hemophilia remains the most famous and fascinating.

Hemophilia is a disease like no other. It is one of the first diseases discovered to be connected to the sex chromosomes (a sex-linked disease, in medical terms). The gene responsible for producing Factor VIII lies in chromosome X. If the gene is defective in a female, chances are she won’t be affected because she has another X chromosome as a back-up (except in consanguineous marriages, when both X chromosomes may be affected.) There is no back-up in a male, because his other sex chromosome is Y.

The fact that it affects males almost exclusively makes one think it is nature’s way of bringing equity to both sexes by compensating women for having exclusive female conditions such as menstruation and childbirth. But then again it is not, because the misfortune of a son causes despair to his mother more than anyone else.

A Jewish mother in ancient times watched her newborn sons die of post-circumcision bleeding one after another. It was only after the death of her fifth son in succession that her Rabbi would finally relent and grant her exemption from the religious rite of circumcision.

A hemophiliac tends to bleed non-stop from the slightest cut and the mildest bruising. Blood transfusion has been known to be effective in stopping the bleeding since time immemorial – hence ‘love of blood’ has become the disease’s nickname. (more…)