/Books

Our books are available from good booksellers worldwide, or they can be ordered online here. Please click on the cover images for full details. Currencies may be switched using the buttons on the right.

Delivery is free of charge to all countries in Asia. For registered airmail delivery to all other countries, we add the equivalent of US$8 in postage for the first item, and US$4 for each book thereafter. For full ordering details please see this page.

  • Winner of the third annual Tartt Fiction Award

    It was some decade. The universities were closed. Students were at war. Poetry was banned. And the word “love,” unless applied to Mao, was expressly forbidden. Artists were denounced, and many opted for suicide. This is the time — its madness, its passion, its complexity — that Xujun Eberlein brings vividly to life in Apologies Forthcoming, her moving collection of short stories about the millions who lived during China’s Cultural Revolution.

    An award-winning writer who now lives in Massachusetts, Eberlein has nothing to apologize for. Her stories are electrifying. About half of the stories take place during the years of the Cultural Revolution; the other half in its aftermath. How many come from personal experience is hard to say. Eberlein, who lived through the Cultural Revolution’s decade as a child and teenager, had a sister who died as a Red Guard, and that event seems fictionalized in one of the stories.

    Apologies Forthcoming shines a revealing light on some of the people whose lives were changed forever by the ten years that turned China upside down. Eberlein does the great service of illuminating the interior lives of a peculiar generation, many of whom are now leading China’s phenomenal awakening.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the link to view sample pages from Apologies Forthcoming. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. 

    Men Don't Apologize

  • and Lucy Cavender

    Beijing: Portrait of a City is the shared work of some of the city's finest writers who lead us through ‘hutong’ alleys, antique markets, artists' communities, gay bars, parks and the nostalgic streets of memory. They beguile with poems, amuse with camel anecdotes and thrill with two murder stories one a genuine antique, the other a fictional contemporary. They take us back to the often-ignored Mongolian roots of the city and project forward to ask whether spectacular modern architecture will suffice to return Beijing to what it sees as its ancient place at the centre of the world.

    The book interweaves its written work with a collection of wry and telling photographs of different aspects of the city, creating a compelling portrait of Beijing.

    The contributors including Zhu Wen, Adam Williams, Roy Kesey, Ma Jian, Alfreda Murck, Tim Clissold, Catherine Sampson, Peter Hessler, Karen Smith, Paul French, Michael Aldrich, Hong Ying and Rob Gifford, all published authors and experts in their field have spent many years living in Beijing and know it from the inside. Their individual contributions combine to leave a highly original and unforgettable impression of one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating cities.

  • by Jack Leblanc Jack Leblanc arrived in China in 1989 intending to teach Physics for just two years. He was to spend the next two decades on a very different learning curve as he became involved in a series of business ventures in almost every part of the Middle Kingdom. From farmyard to factory, boardroom to banquet, Leblanc witnessed (and occasionally assisted) the transformation of China from a socialist economy into the world’s greatest experiment in capitalism. Over time it dawned upon him that the key to success is to manage the differences in Chinese and Western business behaviour. To do well in China you must carefully adapt your strategies – or face ruin faster than you can learn how to use chopsticks. Look inside this book Click on the following links to view sample pages from Business Republic of China. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.  Barbarian roots  The wheels of commerce PLUS download Jack Leblanc's free China business crib sheet, a brief lexicon of selected China business terms for the unversed barbarian. 
  • with foreword by Anchee Min and epilogue by Mian Mian

    The Beijing Olympics focused the world's eyes on China. But despite increased tourism and rampant foreign investment, the cultural distance between China and the West remains as vast as the oceans that separate them. The Middle Kingdom is still relatively unknown by Westerners.

    China is in fact made up of 33 distinct regions populated by 56 ethnic groups – and American photojournalist Tom Carter has visited them all. This little book is a visual tribute to the People's Republic of China, with an ardent emphasis on the People.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the links below to see sample pages from CHINA: Portrait of a People. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Gansu  Hainan

  •  

    Do the Hong Kong Chinese experience ghosts, hauntings, spirit mediumship, ESP and other paranormal phenomena just like people in the West? Or is their culture so different that the ghost accounts in this book will seem bizarre to anyone else?

    This classic presentation of cases is based on 3,600 interviews, questionnaires and observations in Hong Kong in 1980/81, updated by recent materials over 30 years later. Interestingly, in spite of clear influences from ancestor worship and Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist culture, parapsychological theories of apparitions from the West also apply to the Chinese cases.

    For this 2017 edition, Charles Emmons has revisited his earlier conclusions and added new material that has come to light in the intervening years. This book remains the only major cross-cultural study comparing Chinese with Western ghost experiences.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Chinese Ghosts. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Strange Cases on Exhibit

  • by Jonathan Chamberlain, with a foreword by John Blofeld

    Chinese gods: Who are they? Where did they come from? What do they do?

    Chinese folk religion is the underlying belief system of more than a billion Chinese people. Go into any Chinese home, office or restaurant and you will see altars, statues or paper ‘good luck’ images. And wherever there is a Chinese community there are temples and Earth God shrines. But what is the religion that makes sense of all these expressions of belief? How do these beliefs connect to Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism?

    Chinese Gods helps us understand the building blocks of this religion for which even the Chinese have no name – because the beliefs are so intertwined with language and culture they have no independent existence – and provides an in-depth analysis of 19 of the major gods of the Chinese pantheon.

    Look inside this book Click on the links to view sample pages from Chinese Gods. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. 

    Contents & Preface  Kuan Ti


  • Street food is the fuel of daily life in China, just as it has been for generations. In every Chinese city, adventurous travelers seeking a deeper understanding of authentic Chinese culture can find unique local street foods unavailable anywhere else in the world.

    If you want to sample these treasures but don’t know where to start, look no further. With full-color pictures, taste descriptions, Chinese characters and pinyin names of hundreds of foods from 53 Chinese cities, this book gives you all the information you need to find the most delicious local dishes China can offer.

    "Frank Kasell is one of China's best food bloggers. His blog is a giant, eating travel adventure." - City Weekend magazine, Shanghai

  •  
    Squatting amid the luxury hotels and malls of modern Kowloon, Chungking Mansions resembles the dirty vent of a giant subterranean machine. This Hong Kong landmark is a hotbed of criminality and home to pimps, hookers, thieves and drug pushers. The five 17-storey towers also offer the city’s last low-rent refuge for asylum seekers and immigrants coming to start a new life.

    Nepalese guesthouse owners rent out rooms to Bangladeshi workers, and Pakistanis sell mobile phones to Nigerian traders who hire Indian cargo companies to ship them home. Food stalls fill the air with the savoury aromas of international cuisine, and more than 200 guesthouses, as well as two floors of shops selling black-market, counterfeit and bargain goods, establish this unique place as a global hub of trade and multiculturalism.

    In 2009, shortly after a Canadian tourist disappeared from Chungking Mansions without a trace, photographer Nana Chen began wandering the corridors. Using her camera as a guide, she discovered the Chungking Mansions not visible to the naked eye: the beating pulse that gives this notorious destination its hypnotic appeal. With compassion and courage, Chen sought to craft a portrait of Hong Kong’s last ghetto and its inhabitants before its vibrant character is erased forever by the inevitable march of progress.

    I grew up in the vicinity of Chungking Mansions. Nana Chen's intimate, visceral pictures of the Mansions are so unsentimentally authentic and beautiful that I am speechless and deeply moved.” – Chan Koonchung, author of The Fat Years


  • 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

  • by G. T. Reels

    Confessions of a Hong Kong Naturalist is a natural history memoir, tracing the journey from novice to expert of an aspiring naturalist, Graham Reels, as he follows a trail of discovery into the miraculously fascinating and diverse world of Hong Kong's wildlife.

    The memoir falls naturally into two parts, the first covering the seven-year period 1988-1995 in which Reels gained the knowledge and experience that qualified him to undertake the Hong Kong Biodiversity Survey in 1995-1998. Early chapters include descriptions of work as a research assistant at Hong Kong University, an M.Phil. study from a hut at Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, a survey of Hong Kong's freshwater wetlands, and work at Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden. The territory-wide Biodiversity Survey is covered in the second half of the book.

    Throughout the memoir, different animal species that Reels encountered (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects) are named and described, and their ecological or behavioural attributes discussed in a lively and informal manner. Similarly, a range of fascinating human characters whose lives intersected with the author's in his study of Hong Kong's wildlife are introduced and engagingly portrayed.


  • Michael Kohn, former editor of the Mongol Messenger newspaper, is one steppe ahead of the journalistic posse in this epic Western set in the Far East.

    Kohn’s memoir of his time in Mongolia is an irresistible account of a nation where falcon poachers, cattle rustlers, exiled Buddhist leaders, death-defying child jockeys and political assassins vie for page one. A turf war between lamas, shamans, Mormon elders and ministers provides the spiritual backdrop in this nation which had only just been liberated from Soviet rule. From the reincarnated Bogd Khaan and his press spokesman to vodka-fuelled racing entrepreneurs and political leaders unclear on the concept of freedom of the press, Kohn explores one of Asia’s most fascinating, mysterious and misunderstood lands.

    “Genghis Khan may have stormed across the steppes seven centuries ago but Michael Kohn has probably covered nearly as many miles around one of the world’s most remote and untamed nations.” — Tony Wheeler, founder, Lonely Planet

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Dateline Mongolia. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Chapter 1 - The Frozen Capital

  •  

    18 true stories of those who went...

    For the privileged a cosmopolitan pleasure ground; for the desperate a port of last resort.

    A pot of gold at the end of an Oriental rainbow; a thick slice of hell denounced from the pulpit.

    The start of a journey for many; the end of the road for some.

    A place to find fame, or to seek anonymity; rogues, chancers, showgirls, criminals…

    For so many people from so many lands, there was one phrase that sent a tingle of hope or a shiver of anticipation down every spine:

    “DESTINATION SHANGHAI”

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to read pages from Destination Shanghai. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Contents and Introduction 

    Shanghai’s Most Charming Gangster: Elly ‘The Swiss’ Widler (1940)

  • by Feng Chi-shun "Diamond Hill was one of the poorest and most backward of villages in Hong Kong at a time when Hong Kong itself was poor and backward. We moved there in 1956 when I was almost 10. I left when I was 19. Those were the formative years of my life. It’s a time that I remember well and cherish. This memoir of a native son of a Kowloon-side squatter village – the first book ever on Diamond Hill, in either Chinese or English – presents the early days of a life shaped by a now-extinct community. Penned by a high-achieving Hong Kong professional, Feng Chi-shun’s sharp recollections of his humble upbringing contain warmth, humour, and an abundance of insights into a low-income Hong Kong neighbourhood that no longer exists – but remains close to the hearts of many who lived there. Diamond Hill will invite comparisons with Martin Booth's Gweilo. If you enjoyed the latter, you will likely find the former similarly absorbing, because the young Feng was, for many a “gweilo”, the inaccessible yet intriguing face of an altogether edgier Hong Kong. Look inside this book Click on the following link to view sample pages from Diamond Hill. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Thugs and gangsters
  •  

    Siu mai, har gow, jar leung, sin jok guen. These are all types of dim sum. But do you know what they look like, and what’s in them? Can you pronounce their names in Cantonese, or recognize them on a menu? Can you confidently order dim sum for you and your friends — especially if any of them have dietary restrictions?

    Australian-Chinese writer Liza Chu has a part-time career as a Hong Kong dim sum guide. She has distilled her knowledge of Cantonese cuisine and Chinese dining etiquette into this practical guidebook to delicious dim sum. Each photographed dish is identified with Chinese characters and a pronunciation guide. Icons alert those with allergies or special diets, and there’s a special listing of dim sum dishes most popular with children. Master chefs explain their cooking methods, and even the art of tea drinking is covered in detail.

    Take this book to your nearest dim sum restaurant and let Liza show you how to yum cha like a local!

  •  

    China – what’s not to love?

    Join longtime Hong Kong resident and Cantonese fundamentalist Cecilie Gamst Berg as she ploughs through the non-stop surreal-fest that is today’s China, stopping occasionally to ruminate about the travails of trying to make Cantonese a world language, and how the Chinese have invented a new English: Manglish.

    In this book you’ll find answers to everything you wanted to know about China, such as:

    • What does “the slippery are very crafty” really mean?
    • What’s the etiquette for hitch-hiking in really small cars?
    • What’s the best way to gatecrash a Ketamine party?
    • Indeed, what is modern party etiquette in China? And:
    • How do you win a fist-fight with a hotel security guard?

    Travelling by horse, train and sleeper bus from the deserts of Xinjiang, across the mountains of Tibet and Sichuan to the water buffalo fields of Hong Kong, Cecilie shows you how China is not only the most happening place on Earth, but also the most fun.

    Look inside this book
    Click on this link to view sample pages from Don't Joke on the Stairs. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Smile Comes Before a Fall

  •  

    Wedged deep in the Himalaya between India and China, the secretive kingdom of Bhutan guards its independence while around it, Sikkim and Tibet have been swallowed by the giants and Nepal is rife with unrest. Bhutan markets itself as the last Shangri-La, but a closer look reveals the turbulence that accompanies its efforts to join the Western world.

    Murray Gunn and his French wife came to love and better understand Bhutan while living there for two years — but risked their marriage in the process. A travel memoir of discovery and change.

    Look inside this book
    Click on this link to view sample pages from Dragon Bones. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    11-19

  •  

    Chris Thrall left the Royal Marines to find his fortune in Hong Kong, but instead found himself homeless and hooked on crystal methamphetamine.

    Soon he began working for the 14K, Hong Kong’s largest crime family, as a doorman in one of their nightclubs in the Wan Chai red-light district.

    Dealing with psychosis, conspiracy and the ‘foreign triad’ – a secretive expat clique which, unbeknown to the world, works hand-in-hand with the Chinese mafia – he had to survive in the world’s most unforgiving city, addicted to the world’s most dangerous drug.

    Look inside this book
    Click on this link to view sample pages from Eating Smoke. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Excerpt 1

  •  

    Walking is the best way to get to know any city, and Macau — the former Portuguese colony returned to China in 1999 — is made for walking. Only seven miles square, one can easily walk from the Border Gate to the A-Ma Temple at the tip of Macau in a day.

    This guidebook describes eight routes around the urban peninsula and its outlying islands, sufficient to explore and understand this fascinating old city and its unique blend of European and Asian architecture, cuisine and cultures.

    “An invaluable pocket guide that is perfect for the first-time visitor as well as old hands.” — South China Morning Post

    Look inside this book
    Click on this link to view sample pages from Explore Macau. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Walk no. 3 - From Lilau Square to Barra Point

  • 20th anniversary edition

    In the heart of Beijing, a large digital clock marked off the seconds until July 1, 1997, when the red, five-star flag of China would be hoisted over Hong Kong – and the grand but untried idea of “one country, two systems” would be put into practice.

    Farewell, My Colony is a real-time journal of the end of an era by an objective observer. American journalist Todd Crowell captures a unique moment in history as Britain stoically soldiers through the last months of its 156 years of colonial rule, China waits restlessly to resume its sovereignty, and Hong Kong buzzes with endless speculation.

    He tells how Hong Kong’s Chinese and expatriates, taipans and cagemen come to terms with the impending change of rule. He mingles with the rich and famous and common people alike. A long-term resident, he votes in elections controversially called by Governor Chris Patten. He then follows the selection of a rival legislature, and of Patten’s successor, shipping magnate Tung Chee-hwa, as the first chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

    The city’s pulse is charted by his pen, through to the pomp, circumstance and partying of the day of handover itself. Now, 20 years later, Crowell has updated this valuable historical record with reflections on what has happened to Hong Kong since 1997.

  • with John Peters and Lizzie Sharp-Eliazar

    Did you leave your fishing rods at home before relocating to Hong Kong, unaware that such a densely populated place could support recreational fishing?

    Mike Sharp and John Peters walk you through the local angling spots and describe key tactics normally known only by Hong Kong anglers. Carp fishing, pier fishing, and trolling for game fish are just some of the topics covered in a warm, descriptive text beautifully illustrated by Lizzie Sharp-Eliazar.

    Whether you live in a skyscraper or a village, this book will encourage you to get out onto the territory's beautiful waters or rocky shore and cast a line―in the hope that the next one will be the one that didn't get away.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the images on the left to view sample pages from Fishing in Hong Kong.

  •  

    Are the Chinese really so inscrutable?

    China Hand Fred Schneiter delves into the lighter side of Chinese psychology, and in doing so demystifies one of the toughest markets in the world. With an unfailing sense of humor, he offers insights for Sinophiles, Sinophobes and everyone in between. On the Hong Kong bestsellers list for twelve months, this book is now back in a new edition — the essential item to pack in your China survival kit.

    "Everyone working with Chinese, in or out of China, should read this and send a copy to their boss." -- Daniel Ng, managing director, McDonald's Hong Kong/South China

    "Should be required reading for everyone setting out for China for the first time. Lighthearted and highly readable." -- Donald M. Anderson, president, US-China Business Council

    Look inside this book!
    Click on the following link to read pages from Getting Along with the Chinese. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Prologue and Chapters 1 & 2

  • (Go to Chinese edition)

    The handover in 1997 saw Hong Kong’s smooth transition from colonial to Communist rule under the auspices of the ‘one country, two systems’ framework. But twenty years on, the real impact of the sovereignty change is just starting to register: the city’s near-total economic integration with the mainland, a massive influx of Chinese visitors, simmering cross-border tensions and a rapid erosion of freedoms. Believing that we are stronger and louder together, PEN Hong Kong invited some of Hong Kong’s most prominent literary and creative minds to reflect on the city’s post-colonial development, in a definitive compendium of essays, poems, fiction and artwork that marks this historical milestone.

     

    Michael Braga · Mary-Jean Chan · Jennifer S. Cheng · Kris Cheng · Chow Hon Fai · Larry Feign · Harry Harrison · Gérard Henry · Louise Ho · Oscar Ho Hing Kay · Tammy Ho Lai-Ming · Sarah Howe · Law Lok Man, Louise · Arthur Leung · Leung Ping-Kwan · Louisa Lim · Shirley Geok-lin Lim · Lui Wing Kai, Eric · William Nee · Jason Y. Ng · Margaret Ng · Timothy O’Leary · Michael O’Sullivan · Ilaria Maria Sala · Mishi Saran · Shahilla Shariff · Shen Jian · So Mei Chi · Tang Siu Wa · Eddie Tay · Chip Tsao · Stephen Vines · Marco Wan · Wawa · Kate Whitehead · Joshua Wong · Nicholas Wong · Xu Xi · Marco Yan · Chris Yeung · Douglas Young

    With forewords by Timothy Garton Ash and Kevin Lau Chun-to.

    "The success of Hong Kong’s pluralist citizenship will come out on top whatever the challenges. Reading many of the contributions [in Hong Kong 20/20] confirms me in that view." — Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong
     

     

  •  

    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

  •  

    Hong Kong’s bestselling parents’ guide is back, completely revised for 2015 and more comprehensive than ever before, with 70+ outing ideas! Filled with exciting child-friendly activities to do, see and experience, Hong Kong for Kids gives parents and educators all the important information they need to have a successful and stress-free outing with kids.

    Whether you’re a tourist visiting the city for the first time, a seasoned expat, a life-long resident or a teacher planning a school field trip, this book is indispensable.

    Look inside this book
    Click below to view sample pages from Hong Kong for Kids. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
    Contents
    Sham Shui Po themed street shopping
    Hong Kong Heritage Museum
    Victoria Peak Garden
    Sample maps

  • Edited by Jason Y. Ng and Susan Blumberg-Kason

    Published in association with Akashic Books

    Akashic continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighbourhood or location within the city of the book.

    Hong Kong Noir features brand-new stories by Jason Y. Ng, Xu Xi, Marshall Moore, Brittani Sonnenberg, Tiffany Hawk, James Tam, Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang, Christina Liang, Feng Chi-shun, Charles Philipp Martin, Shannon Young, Shen Jian, Carmen Suen and Ysabelle Cheung.

    What will Hong Kong look like in five years, ten years, or thirty years when the “one country, two systems” promise expires? It’s impossible to foresee. Hong Kong’s future may be beyond our control, but some things aren’t. We can continue to write about our beloved city and work our hardest to preserve it in words.

    When we asked our contributors to write their noir stories, we didn’t give them specific content guidelines other than to make sure their stories end on a dark note. What we received was a brilliant collection of ghost stories, murder mysteries, domestic dramas, cops-and-robbers tales, and historical thrillers that capture Hong Kong in all its dark glory. The result is every bit as eclectic, quirky, and delightful as the city they write about.

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

    Contents and Introduction

  • by Feng Chi-shun Hong Kong pathologist Feng Chi-shun was once part-owner of a dive bar in Kowloon City: a rough part of town which was home to the Sun Yee On triad gang. During that time, he heard a lot of stories. How about the street sleeper who was a secret millionaire, or the man who chose to end it all in Chungking Mansions? Do you want to know the details of Kowloon's gruesome Hello Kitty murder, or what the taxi driver from hell did to his passengers? How about Elvis of the Orient, the ancient movie star who fooled hundreds of people for his final performance, or the student who stumbled into the 1967 riots and entered the world of girlie bars? And what was the truth about the girl with the eagle tattoo? The 15 stories in Hong Kong Noir offer a glimpse of what happens in the shadows. Look inside this book Click on these links to read pages from Hong Kong Noir. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Foreword   Inside Hello Kitty's Head   The Taxi Driver from Hell    
  •  

    As the Hong Kong handover boom fizzles into the Asian economic bust, a young American couple's marriage and careers tumble into a maze of television news, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie.

    TV news veteran Muhammad Cohen's engaging, often hilarious novel captures the mood ahead of the July 1997 handover when Hong Kong reigned as the centre of the universe, a multicultural melting pot bubbling with pure gold. As the Asian crisis abruptly ends the party, mainland China emerges, eclipsing Hong Kong. For everyone whose job or business falls under China's lengthening economic shadow, Hong Kong On Air presents a fresh angle on how it all began. For media watchers, Hong Kong On Air broadcasts the backstage secrets of television news the way The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay illustrated the dark side of comic books.

    For newspaper reporter turned TV producer Laura Wellesley, the morning show at Franklin Global Networks Asia means going to bed before dark and swallowing the first rule of broadcast news: the anchor is always right, especially when it's American-born Chinese egomaniac Deng Jiang Mao. The station's fortunes and Laura's outlook improve with the arrival of Peter Franklin, the 28-year-old son of FGN's billionaire founder. But Franklin's eye falls on mainland-born graphics drone Pussy, Laura's control room nemesis, and a butterfly emerges from the web he spins.

    For Laura's husband Jeff Golden, the production line for his Golden Beauties lingerie runs through a cagey mother minding their stores on Long Island, cookie tins stuffed with cash smuggled over the border, and hot tubs in Hong Kong's Jewish Community Club and mainland brothels. Cut out of his own multi-million dollar deal, Jeff's consolation prize is Yogi, a Japanese banker with a yen for "Jew food" and men raised on it.

    During Hong Kong's pre-handover boom, FGN Asia becomes a hit, a star is born, and mistakes are easy to overlook. But the economic crisis ripens relationships for treachery, creates opportunities for revenge, and moves China centre stage, triggering a great leap forward for some, a long march to failure for others.

  •  

    Syd Goldsmith’s first taste of China’s Cultural Revolution is blood on his tongue. It’s 1967. Hong Kong is simmering, plagued by communist-led riots and strikes, crippled transport, punishing water-rationing, takeover threats from Beijing and roadside bombs. And Syd — the only Caucasian Foreign Service Officer at the American Consulate General who speaks Cantonese — is made responsible for reporting and analysis of the Hong Kong government’s ability to survive.

    The CIA station chief and the head of Macau’s gold syndicate play major roles in Syd’s story, along with Newsweeks Sydney Liu and Maynard Parker, and a steady stream of inquiring foreign correspondents and China-watchers. Richard Nixon makes a cameo appearance — to talk football with Syd since the consul general won’t see him — in this riveting memoir of a year when Hong Kong’s “borrowed time” seemed about to expire.

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

    Chapters 1 to 3

  • with illustrations by Lee Po Ng

    Hong Kong is a mixed bag of a city. It is where Mercedes outnumber taxi cabs, partygoers count down to Christmas every December 24, and larger-than-life billboards of fortune tellers and cram school tutors compete with breathtaking skylines.

    HONG KONG State of Mind is a collection of essays by a popular blogger who zeroes in on the city’s idiosyncrasies with deadpan precision. At once an outsider looking in and an insider looking out, Ng has created something for everyone: a travel journal for the passing visitor, a user’s manual for the wide-eyed expat, and an open diary for the native Hong Konger looking for moments of reflection.

    Look inside this book
    Click on this link to view sample pages from HONG KONG State of Mind. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Kowloon Complex

  •  

    Hong Kong Unveiled is an "access all areas" pass into Chinese culture and customs. Though written with a Hong Kong slant, it applies to any Chinese community worldwide.

    Invited to a Chinese wedding or business function and don’t know the correct form? This book will lead you through the minefield where an innocent mistake could see you lose your friend or your business connection. Want to change a run of bad luck? Or are your jokes falling flat with your Chinese friends? Find out how and why in this far-ranging book – which also explains how many seemingly strange customs came about.

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

    Introduction   Mistranslations   At the restaurant

  •  

    In this joyful travel sketchbook, Hong Kong is captured through the hearts of a writer and an artist.

    From the winding, incense-filled streets of Sheung Wan to the pandemonium of a wet market in North Point to the sleepy island backwater of Tai O, Lena Sin and Nicholas Tay take you on a wonder-filled journey that shines a light on the softer, more romantic side of this chaotic city.

    Filled with tales of growing up in Hong Kong, Lena weaves personal anecdotes and conversations with locals with richly-illustrated watercolours and photographs by herself and artist husband Nicholas. The result is an intimate portrait of a city that is at once vibrant and energetic as well as charming and nostalgic.


  • Japan marched into Hong Kong at the outbreak of the Pacific War on December 8, 1941. On the same day, Graham Heywood was captured by the invading Japanese near the border while carrying out duties for the Royal Observatory. He was held at various places in the New Territories before being transported to the military Prisoner-of-War camp in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. The Japanese refused to allow Heywood and his colleague Leonard Starbuck to join the civilians at the Stanley internment camp.

    Heywood’s illustrated diary records his three-and-a-half years of internment, telling a story of hardship, adversity, and survival of malnutrition and disease; as well as repeated hopes of liberation and disappointment. As he awaits the end of the war, his reflections upon freedom and imprisonment bring realisations about life and how to live it.

    Accounts of life in the internment camp differed widely. One friend, an enthusiastic biologist, was full of his doings; he had grown champion vegetables, had seen all sort of rare birds (including vultures, after the corpses) and had run a successful yeast brewery. Altogether, he said, it had been a great experience ... a bit too long, perhaps, but not bad fun at all. Another ended up her account by saying ‘Oh, Mr. Heywood, it was hell on earth’. It all depended on their point of view.”

    Heywood’s highly positive attitude to life is food for thought for all of us today, in the midst of increasing consumerism but decreasing spiritual satisfaction. We have enjoyed freedom and an abundance of material wealth in the 70 years since the end of the Pacific War, but we may not always recognise our true good fortune.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to view sample pages from It Won't Be Long Now. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.   Foreword   Chapter 1 - Capture

  • by Jonathan Chamberlain, with a foreword by Sir David Tang From the start of the Korean war to the end of the Vietnam war, Hong Kong was a major R&R centre for soldiers and sailors. And there were thousands of local people who made their money making sure these visitors had a good time and got the suits and the girls they wanted. In fact they didn’t just wait for their customers to arrive – they sailed out in a flotilla of small boats to greet the ships as they entered the harbour. And then, when the ships had anchored, they shimmied up the anchor chain to be the first to get the orders for shirts and trousers. These were the tailor shop order men. Peter Hui was one of them. But who was Peter? What was his story? Well, before he took to being a tailor he had been a famous kung fu fighter; a rich playboy, a frequenter of the pleasure houses of Macau; a gambler (he had run three gambling joints in Canton when the Communists walked in); the brains behind a gang of armed robbers (he alone escaped arrest when their third robbery went wrong); an associate of triads – and, before all that, he had been the owner of the biggest string of Mongolian ponies at the Hong Kong Jockey Club – that was during the war years when he was a leading collaborator of the Japanese. He had once, for a very short time, owned all the opium in Hong Kong! Later, after his tailoring days had gone flat, he was paid by a CIA officer to report on events in China. This was during the tumultuous years of the Cultural Revolution, when Red Guard factions fought amongst each other. Some periods in history are best illuminated by the stories of men and women who lived through them. This is one of those stories. As we follow Peter’s life – his ups, his downs – we see in sharp focus what it was like to be a Chinese man in the British colony of Hong Kong through most of the years of the 20th century. This is the true, bizarre story of a man who knew everybody and saw everything. He wasn’t a wicked man. He was just trying to get by, like everyone else. This is his truly fascinating story. And yet this book is not just one man’s story. It is the story of a time and place – colonial Hong Kong, Portuguese Macau and the south China hinterland between Hong Kong and Canton – seen from the unique point of view of a man who was at home at all levels of society. There are, for example, no other published accounts of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong as seen from the non-combatant Chinese perspective. The World of Suzie Wong was a best-selling novel in the 1960s – and this story is its background. If Suzie had been a real girl, Peter would have known her. Look inside this book Click on the following link to view sample pages from King Hui. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.  Introduction
  • by Feng Chi-shun

    The Cantonese call anyone lecherous, and anything salacious, harm sup — literally salty and wet. And the code word for all things harm sup is "kitchen tiles." Anyone who has stepped into a Chinese kitchen knows it is like a war zone, with broth and condiments spilt all over the place; hence the tiles are deemed salty and wet.

    Kitchen Tiles looks at the lascivious aspects of Hong Kong society. These 50 stories of gamblers, drinkers, masseuses and millionaires are based on the real-life experiences of Feng Chi-shun, author of Diamond Hill. Names and circumstances may have been changed, but the sentiment and spirit remain authentically Hong Kong.

    Look inside this book Click on the link to read pages from Kitchen Tiles. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Contents
  • with pictures by Ira Chaplain

    What do "Deep water pier", "Nine dragons city" and "Mandarin's lake" have in common with "Wong Tai Sin", the name of a Taoist deity? They're all districts in Kowloon.

    This book is an exploration of what is often seen as Hong Kong's shadow-side, from the viewpoints of community, consumerism, art, food, fashion and sex – 15 years after the handover. Scores of colour photographs bring the peninsula to the reader in a salute to street culture and the ordinary and extraordinary people of Kowloon.

    Look inside this book
    Click on these links to view sample text pages from Kowloon: Unknown Territory. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Introduction   Yau Tsim Mong: Multicultural kaleidoscope   Kowloon City: Little Bangkok

  •  

    Danzan Ravjaa (1803-1856), officially known as the Fifth Noyon Incarnate Lama of the Gobi Desert, is perhaps Mongolia's most beloved saint. The Fourth had caused so many scandals that the Manchu Emperor banned his reincarnation. Consequently, when the young child was enthroned as the Fifth, the Emperor issued an edict of execution on the boy and all associated with the event. The child was only saved by the personal intervention of the Panchen Lama and a letter of appeal from the young Ninth Dalai Lama. Their efforts proved well worthwhile, for the boy went on to become one of the greatest mystics and creative geniuses of 19th-century Mongolia.

    Lama of the Gobi is an investigative account of the life and times of this extraordinary man. It takes the reader on a journey through Mongolian history, Tibetan Buddhism and the traditions of nomadic culture, to generate an appreciation of the man and the legends that surround him. This revealing story winds its way from Danzan Ravjaa’s mythic past until the present day – as the people of the Gobi Desert still faithfully maintain his cult-like status.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the below link to view sample pages from Lama of the Gobi. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. 

    Preface & Introduction

  •  

    Does a man need a stint in jail to complete his life experiences?

    From Stanley Prison, corporate high-flyer John T. Hung recounts his life in a sweep of Hong Kong history over five generations – from his family roots in the 19th century through World War II to the present.

    The story tracks the richness of his mixed heritage and upbringing, his steady rise and precipitous fall from the pinnacles of corporate Hong Kong to the life-destroying court case and heartbreaking incarceration.

    With wry and subtle humour, Hung describes his colourful yet volatile life, interwoven into the social, commercial, political and sporting tapestry of Hong Kong and South East Asia.

    Master of None is a soulful exploration of human achievements, frailties, resilience in the face of adversity, and above all, the importance of family support in overcoming whatever fate may deal us.

    Look inside this book
    Click on these links to view sample pages from Master of None. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. 

    Chapter 1  Chapter 32

  •  

    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.

    Look inside this book
    Click on these links to read pages from My Private China. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Introduction   Counting   The Re-Taking of Hong Kong

  • by Jonathon Ving "I live in a big city. And this is the view from my rooftop." My Rooftop tells the story of a young boy growing up in a rapidly modernizing Asian metropolis. It follows his relationship with the changing landscape as seen from the top of his apartment building. He can see the river, where ships pass day and night. He can see a golden temple shaded by trees. He can see the towers where people go to work, and the hill where the sun sets. While shared with millions of other people, the view is still very privately his own. But how should he react when a new building starts to block his view? My Rooftop is a tale for all children who face the uncertainty of change. 40 pages of beautifully painted art are accompanied by an audio CD featuring original music, sound effects and narration.
  • with illustrations by Lee Po Ng

    Author and blogger Jason Y. Ng has a knack for making the familiar both fascinating and funny. Three years after his bestselling début HONG KONG State of Mind, the razor-sharp observer returns with a sequel that is bigger and every bit as poignant.

    No City for Slow Men is a collection of 36 essays that examine some of the pressing social, cultural and existential issues facing Hong Kong. It takes us from the gravity-defying property market to the plunging depths of old age poverty, from the storied streets of Sheung Wan to the beckoning island of Cheung Chau, from the culture-shocked Western expat to the misunderstood Mainland Chinese and the disenfranchised foreign domestic worker. The result is a treatise on Hong Kong life that is thought-provoking, touching and immensely entertaining.

    Look inside this book
    Click on these links to read pages from No City for Slow Men. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Introduction   Horo-Logic   The Storm Cometh


  • In the depths of the 2003 SARS crisis, Mike Rowse (盧維思), a career Hong Kong civil servant, was handed the poisoned chalice of HarbourFest – intended to be (and which in many ways was) a psychological and commercial shot in the arm. Politics, as it often does, took precedence over sense, and Rowse was scapegoated for the perceived failings of this attempt to pull off a world-class entertainment festival in only three months.

    Rowse endured disciplinary hearings and ended up taking the Hong Kong Government to court. He won.

    This true story of HarbourFest is not just an insider’s account of the workings of the Hong Kong Government; it is also a thoughtful treatise on the drawbacks of the Ministerial Accountability System, a system which failed HarbourFest and Rowse, there being No Minister who ever took responsibility.

  • The stories of expatriates in Hong Kong – the most dynamic, dramatic and diverse city in the Asia-Pacific region – come to life in this book.

    Why did they come? Why do they stay? How did Hong Kong change them and their view of the world? What did they gain and what did they lose?

    Human beings are on the move, driven by economic globalisation, political persecution, love or simple curiosity; and this global flow defines the age in which we live. From these expat stories, larger themes loom: identities transformed; racism, naked and clothed; blended relationships; and the tensions and tolerance engendered through peoples, languages and cultures in contact.

    Look inside this book Click on the following link to read pages from Other Voices, Other Eyes. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. To begin at the beginning
  •  

    Rachel Cartland came to Hong Kong in 1972 as one of just two female expatriates in the Hong Kong Government’s elite administrative grade.

    Before she retired in 2006, her life was shaped by the momentous events that rocked Hong Kong during those action-packed years: corruption and the police mutiny, the growth of the new towns, the currency crisis of 1983, Tiananmen Square, the change of sovereignty and the devastation of SARS. The backdrop to her story ranges from Kowloon’s infamous Walled City to Government House to the rural New Territories.

    Paper Tigress is full of humour and incident and, at the same time, an accessible account of modern Hong Kong and the forces that shaped it.

    "Rachel’s remarkable recollection of an exciting era in Hong Kong not only brings back 40 years of shared memories, but is a fair and often amusing story of how colleagues in the Administrative Service worked together to build up this modern city – and, in the process, injected core values that hopefully will stand Hong Kong in good stead for years to come.” – Shelley Lee Lai-kuen, GBS, OBE, JP, former Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs

    Look inside this book
    Click on the link below to read pages from Paper Tigress. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Early Days in Hong Kong

  •  

    As a youth in Saigon's Chinatown of the 1960s and '70s, Paul Au was greatly affected by American "hippie" culture and Rock and Roll. He was smuggled into Hong Kong in 1974 to escape the South Vietnamese military draft.

    At first living in rooftop squats, he started to trade used vinyl records on the streets of Sham Shui Po, and finally established an underground reputation for his eclectic blend and unending supply of recorded music.

    This full-colour book uses sample records and sleeve art to depict the evolution of popular music in Hong Kong since the 1970s, and describes the down-to-earth part of Kowloon, with its walk-up buildings and street markets, that Paul Au has become synonymous with.

    "Paul's Records solidifies Andrew Guthrie's status as the most perceptive, and astute, observer of the lingering appeal of recording and cassette culture in post-colonial Hong Kong." – Giorgio Biancorosso, Department of Music, The University of Hong Kong

    "Paul's Records is a gift to Hong Kong and to anyone who wants to know more about the unique worlds that thrive in its crowded spaces." – Greg Girard, author of City of Darkness: Life In Kowloon Walled City

  • and Francis Ng

    "Tears? What are they?" asked Pelma, a little nun who lived on an island at the heart of a salt lake. Everybody laughed at this naïve girl who had carelessly damaged the convent’s precious thangka painting.

    Pelma was sent to shore to find a high lama to repair the thangka. New friends and mischievous spirits joined the young girl on her journey. She learned about deception, greed and cruelty, as well as human warmth and kindness. She came to taste all kinds of tears.

    But nothing could prepare Pelma for the hardest decision of all: destroying the thangka that she had taken such trouble to repair…

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to view sample pages from Pelma's Tears. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. 

    Authors' notes  Prologue 

  •  

    Part of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series

    Hong Kong, 1918. A tranquil place compared to war-torn Europe. But on the morning of the 22nd January, a running battle through the streets of Wanchai ended in “The Siege of Gresson Street”. Five policemen lay dead, so shocking Hong Kong that over half the population turned out to watch their funeral procession.

    One of the dead, Inspector Mortimor O’Sullivan, came from Newmarket: a small town nestled deep in rural Ireland. He, along with a dozen and more relatives, had sailed out to Hong Kong to join the Police Force.

    Using family records and memories alongside extensive research in Hong Kong, Ireland and London, Patricia O’Sullivan tells the story of these policemen and the criminals they dealt with. This book also gives a rare glimpse into the day-to-day life of working-class Europeans at the time, as it follows the Newmarket men, their wives and families, from their first arrival in 1864 through to 1941 and beyond.

    “This groundbreaking book is a story of life, death, and crime in colonial Hong Kong. It is also an account of an important part of Hong Kong’s population that has eluded most historians: the European working class. With an arsenal of previously untapped materials in Ireland, Britain and Hong Kong, Patricia O’Sullivan tells the remarkable tales of the families who built their own ‘little Ireland’ in Hong Kong.” – John M. Carroll, Dept. of History, University of Hong Kong

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Policing Hong Kong – An Irish History. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Introduction

  •  

    “Kung Fu?” The Big Boss Loves Adventure

    Even four decades after the passing of Asian martial-arts superstar Bruce Lee (1940-73), his achievements still attract adoration from millions of movie fans. The biggest fan of all may be Jon Benn, who befriended the high-kicking hero while playing “the Big Boss”, a villain in Lee’s acclaimed 1972 movie The Way of the Dragon.

    In Remembering Bruce Lee, a tell-tale autobiography, Jon reminisces fondly about his experiences with Lee and a lifetime of other adventures. From facing Lee’s fists of fury to riding in a cowboy posse, from almost starting the Third World War to a nude scene with sex symbol Bo Derek, much has happened to Jon for the sake of appearing in movies.

    But that’s not all. From exploring ancient Mexican temples and falling into a volcano to eavesdropping on communists in Cold War Europe, from doing business with former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos to girls-in-hot-pants waving Passports to Pleasure, one heck of a lot has happened to Jon away from the cameras too.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the link to read pages from Remembering Bruce Lee. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. 

    Contents & Introduction

     

  • by Paul Ulrich Can the Chinese foil a US oil grab in the Middle East? This topical spy thriller captures the turmoil of the 'war on terror' and weaves agents of the Chinese Government into the plot, pulling the reader into a world of subterfuge and shifting alliances which may well mirror tomorrow's headlines. The story: A young China expert at the US embassy in Riyadh learns a shocking secret: the US will use a hostage crisis as a pretext to invade the Saudi kingdom and seize control of its oilfields. Meanwhile, the daughter of a radical cleric is desperate to escape an arranged marriage. As she attempts to flee the country, her half-brother becomes embroiled in an Al-Qaeda plot to drive out the American infidels -- a plan the newly assertive Chinese are determined to stop. As the US and China compete for mastery of the Gulf, an American diplomat risks betraying his country and a Saudi woman risks her life -- but what price betrayal in a land ruled and divided by harsh Islamic law? Look inside this book Click on the following link to view sample pages from Saudi Match Point. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Prologue
  • with a foreword by Irene Eber

    A compilation of 26 biographical accounts from the entire spectrum of Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jewish society offers fresh insights into a remarkable community that lived through the crossroads of China’s 20th-century history.

    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. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Foreword  Sample photo pages


  • In 1976, Peter Mann left a gloomy England for the last corner of the British empire: Hong Kong.

    As a police inspector, he commanded a sub-unit and led a district vice squad in Kowloon, before joining the colonial government’s Administrative Service and working in the fields of transport, housing, security, environment and tourism. He also served as District Officer, Wan Chai. From raids on gambling dens to organising Governors' visits, his work involved him in all levels of Hong Kong society.

    Mann’s memoir is an anecdotal, historical and racy account of Hong Kong’s last decades as a British colony and the colourful story of a young Englishman in the twilight of empire.

    Hong Kong is one of the most intriguing places in the world and its modern history is endlessly fascinating. This book is a highly readable addition to the canon of memoirs which illuminate the period.” – Rachel Cartland, author of Paper Tigress

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Sheriff of Wan Chai. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.  Arrival in Hong Kong