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. A native son of this once British Crown Colony and now Special Administrative Region of China, Wong 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 sends us on exciting journeys between East and West and challenges our perceptions of what has been gained and what could be lost in the process … An exceptional read.” – Pam Fraser Solomon, Senior Producer, Short Stories, BBC Radio 4
“While most authors build a following in their home country before venturing abroad, Hong Kong’s limited outlets for literary fiction led to local author David T. K. Wong taking his work to the US, Europe and Southeast Asia before publishing them here. Now, however, he brings us 30 years’ worth of his short stories in one book, a rich and complex portrait of Hong Kong told through the lens of its varied inhabitants, their relationships with the city and each other. … In each story, Wong slips into the skin of a different person, sharing insights into their respective worlds with us. He deftly avoids the clichés often associated with Hong Kong fiction, and through his sharp observation of human nature draws us into each plot, so that the moment we finish one story we’re looking forward to the next.” – South China Morning Post
“David T. K. Wong’s prose, spare and clean, occasionally rises to eloquence. Sometimes I found myself pausing to replay a paragraph, marvelling at how nicely he lays words down on the page. … For English readers starved for something more penetrating than tourist-snap fiction, this writer comes across as a convincing storyteller.” – Joel McCormick, Window magazine
“Wong has been hailed as a Hong Kong ‘voice’ in English. … Perhaps most impressive of all is Wong’s studied refusal to sensationalise a culture chiefly known to fiction for its flamboyant characters and settings.” – Robert McCrum, The Observer
“The author has a delightful ability to find the extraordinary in ordinary people.” – Sunday Standard
“Wong is a master storyteller and brings the reader back to Old Hong Kong, a time well before the Handover when Hong Kong culture was at its peak.” – Susan Blumberg-Kason