Using previously unseen diaries and archival material, Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews documents the rise and fall of larger-than-life personalities who witnessed the Sino-Japanese War, the Occupation of Shanghai and the Communist Party’s rise to power. Photographs illustrate the life and times of these individuals and the magnificent, cosmopolitan city they called home.
Look inside this book! Click on the following links to view sample pages from Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews. 1. Foreword 2. Sample photo pages
Victoria Park, the largest expanse of open space in Hong Kong, is the crossroads and away home for thousands of Muslim women who come from Indonesia to find their fortunes, or at least support their families, in the teeming Chinese city. Most come initially as domestic helpers, but some lose their employers and descend into the netherworld of overstayers, illegal street hawkers and disco “PR” girls. Whoever they are, they all know Dina: a woman who sells phonecards, changes money, dispenses advice and listens to their tales of exile.
From the comic to the bizarre to the heart-breaking, these cross-cultural tales build on a sensual evocation of place and character.
April 2015 brought a surprise: our landlord of 10 years presented us with a 60% rent rise on our ancient walk-up office on Hollywood Road. It was impossible to meet the new figure so we had to commence a search for new premises away from the madness of Central District prices.
Happily we have found a sunny unit in a building in Fo Tan in the New Territories, an area of former industrial buildings which is becoming popular with artists, musicians and even organic gardeners who appreciate the larger spaces and lower costs. The new building has proper cargo lifts so we’ve also moved our separate warehouse into the new space (see action shot of us building shelves), so it’s a much more efficient place to work from. We should have done this years ago. Thanks for the impetus to change, Hong Kong landlords!
New website too
They said it wasn’t possible! It couldn’t be done. We were fools to even try! But to prove them wrong and celebrate all the above, we have finally redesigned our website.
No longer does a visit to www.blacksmithbooks.com evoke memories of 1980s video games. The original website was built by a team of white-coated boffins working on mainframes, or at least it looked like it was. Now, it’s a swish affair which lets you sort books by category and country. Pictures are bigger, it’s responsive to different screen sizes, and it’s easier for us to post blog entries.
Please take a look! There are PDF excerpts of almost all our books, so have a read.
Blacksmith authors in the news
Jason Y. Ng gave a talk to a crowded hall and signed books at the Hong Kong Book Fair in July (see photo). His second book, No City for Slow Men, has just gone into its third printing.
Finally: if I cared for money, I probably wouldn’t have gone into publishing, but nonetheless I was happy to talk about the business side of books on RTHK Radio 3’s Money for Nothing. I was also interviewed by local newspaper Apple Daily.
Summer recommendation: Hong Kong for Kids, 2015 edition
Hong Kong for Kids: A Parent’s GuideDo you need ideas for family days out? Hong Kong’s best selling parents’ guide is completely revised for 2015 and more comprehensive than ever before, with 70+ outing ideas! Inside you will find:
Detailed outing descriptions
Comprehensive public transport directions
Special programs and tours
Chinese translations of addresses
Where to get a bite to eat on every outing
Contact details for educators
Information that is only word-of-mouth
So grab your kids and go someplace new and exciting in Hong Kong!
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Pete Spurrier, Publisher
Unit 26, 19/F, Block B, Wah Lok Industrial Centre, 37-41 Shan Mei Street, Fo Tan, N.T., Hong Kong