David T. K. Wong

David T. K. Wong

David T. K. Wong — who started his working life as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant before becoming a journalist, teacher, colonial bureaucrat, international businessman, and a writer of short stories and novels — is a man of many parts. At the ripe old age of 89 he has publicly exposed for the first time — in Hong Kong Confidential — some of the shadier insider dealings in the colonial administration during the governorship of Sir Murray MacLehose.

He has now completed the fourth volume of his family memoirs, dealing with the goings-on in the Hong Kong commercial sector during the 1980s when he was the managing director of Li & Fung, an international trading company.

Wong is the founder of the annual David T. K. Wong Fellowship in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in the UK. He is now resident in Malaysia.

His website is at http://davidtkwong.com/.

  • Love, Money and Friendships

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    In 1981, David Wong retired after 20 years as an administrative officer in the Hong Kong Government to chance his arm in the city’s cut-throat free market, as the managing director of a large multinational trading corporation. He soon discovered more legal and ethical boobytraps in business than he had bargained for. Nonetheless, he sidestepped them and in 1982, during the Sino-British negotiations to end British rule, he quickly sensed a unwarranted panic over the value of the Hong Kong dollar. He acted accordingly and made himself millions in weeks.

    Wong then visited different parts of China with friends. In the process he fell in love with a young and beautiful member of the Communist Youth League. When he tried to marry her, however, the mainland bureaucracy threw a host of obstacles in his path. After all, he was perceived as a capitalist from Hong Kong. But Wong’s friends used their collective guanxi with members of the Politburo to gain him permission to marry the girl. The title of this volume is aptly Love, Money and Friendships.

    Interlaced with Wong’s narrative are fascinating insights into aspects of China’s long and colourful history and culture.

    LOOK INSIDE THIS BOOK Click the following links to read excerpts from the book.

    Introduction

  • The Evergreen Tea House: A Hong Kong Novel

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    In the wake of the Hong Kong protests, memories of the colonial past are fading. This new edition of David T. K. Wong’s sweeping historical novel brings the past vividly to life.

    The Evergreen Tea House is a deftly crafted, provocative and poignant tale which blends mismatched love and twisted ambition with political intrigue and diplomatic mendacity. Set in Hong Kong during the twilight years of British rule, the characters live through tumultuous events – the Japanese occupation, the Korean War, the Cultural Revolution – and the emotional trauma associated with the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which precipitated Hong Kong's handover to China.

    The unique and noteworthy element of this novel, beyond its strong evocation of time and place and its careful melding of facts with fiction, is its interpretation of historical events through a Chinese perspective.

  • Hong Kong Confidential: Life as a Subversive

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    A former senior Chinese Administrative Officer has at long last lifted another little corner of the veil of half-truths and anodyne official releases which hitherto shrouded many of the decisions and evasions under the long Hong Kong governorship of Sir Murray MacLehose.

    David T. K. Wong — who started working life as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant at the age of 13 before becoming a journalist, teacher, colonial bureaucrat, international businessman, and then a writer of short stories and novels — is clearly a man of many parts. He has now turned his narrative skills to producing a pungent, sardonic, cerebral and revelatory insider memoir of his experiences in the upper reaches of the colonial administration during the 1970s.

    In doing so, he draws attention to the political, cultural and economic cross-currents that have always swirled through the uniquely paradoxical city. As a Chinese, he constantly found himself struggling with a three-horned dilemma: how to serve the people of Hong Kong, who paid his salary; the wider Chinese nation, from which he was culturally and emotionally inseparable; and the demands of the British crown, to which he had publicly sworn his allegiance.

    Hong Kong Confidential is a valuable contribution to the historical mosaic of a dynamic Chinese community living through turbulent times.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Hong Kong Confidential. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Chapter 1: Interregnum

  • Collected Hong Kong Stories

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    For an arresting mosaic of the great and complex metropolis known as Hong Kong – and an insight into what the people of the city live by and die for – a reader need look no further than the Collected Hong Kong Stories of David T. K. Wong.

    Wong, a native son of this once British Crown Colony and now Special Administrative Region of China, has drawn upon his own experiences as a journalist, educator, government official and businessman to assemble a range of memorable characters for his tales. They range from barmen to labourers, from jockeys to expatriate bureaucrats, from scholars to tycoons, and each is infused with insights into the collective soul of the edgy, anomalous and perplexing place he finds himself.

    These 18 stories are carefully crafted in the grand tradition of O. Henry, Maugham and Saki. Each has been individually published in a magazine or broadcast over radio in Britain, the United States, Hong Kong or elsewhere. They can be dipped into and savoured separately or feasted upon all in one go. Either way, the result can only be satisfying.

    “David T. K. Wong is an exceptionally fluent writer whose compelling stories cover a wide range of themes. His talent sparkles, inveigles and mesmerizes.” – Sylvia Tankel, Editor of Short Stories International

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to read pages from Collected Hong Kong Stories. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.  One  Two