• Out of stock

    Hong Kong Volunteers in Battle: December 1941

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    On the same day as the assault on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese army attacked the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong. Among the colony’s garrison were regiments from Britain, Canada and India as well as men from the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, better known as ‘The Volunteers’.

    When the battle began on 8 December 1941, the HKVDC deployed a total fighting strength of 1,900 officers and men. These were mustered into seven infantry companies, five artillery batteries and a single armoured car platoon with a full range of support units.

    Over the next 17 days, until the surrender on Christmas Day 1941, the men of ‘The Volunteers’ saw action all over Hong Kong. This is the story of their battle.

  • How to Hong Kong: An illustrated travel journal

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    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.

  • Out of stock

    It Won’t Be Long Now: The Diary of a Hong Kong Prisoner of War

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    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

  • King Hui: The Man Who Owned All the Opium in Hong Kong

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    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.

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    Introduction

  • Kitchen Tiles: A Collection of Salty, Wet Stories from the Bar-Rooms of Hong Kong

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    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.

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    Contents

  • Kowloon: Unknown Territory

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    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.

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

  • Lama of the Gobi: How Mongolia’s mystic monk spread Tibetan Buddhism in the world’s harshest desert

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    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.

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    Preface & Introduction

  • LING-NAM: Hong Kong, Canton and Hainan Island in the 1880s

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    By Benjamin Couch 'BC' Henry, introduced and annotated by Paul French
     
    No. 3 in the China Revisited series
     
    Benjamin Couch “BC” Henry was a missionary in Hong Kong and southern China in the second half of the 19th century. He arrived in 1873 and remained until 1894. Yet he was much more too – a keen observer, a skilled naturalist and an intrepid explorer. His fascination with the flora and fauna of Hong Kong and southern China are obvious throughout the pages of LING-NAM.
     
    The bulk of his career in China was spent in what was then commonly known as “Ling-nam”, the Pearl River Delta and environs of Guangzhou. These excerpts of Henry’s travelogue LING-NAM, published in 1886, contain one of the most detailed walking tours of Guangzhou that has survived. Similarly so his travels through the silk, tea and market garden regions adjoining the metropolis. Abd finally, we have Henry’s ground-breaking account of his expeditions around Hainan Island in 1882, then the most extensive undertaken to date by a foreigner. He was also a keen anthropologist interested in the island’s various ethnic groups, such as the Lois, as well as the various languages and dialects of Hainan. Henry’s portrait of southern China was built up over 20 years work and exploration in the region and provides one of the most in-depth looks at southern Chinese life from the growth of Hong Kong, to the bustling streets of Guangzhou, to Hainan’s “Island of Palms”.

    “Drifting slowly by a large collection of flower-boats, gay with lamps and mirrors, and richly furnished with black-wood sofas and embroidered curtains… Dire confusion is often created among the slipper-boats, whose anchorage adjoins, by the surging of the steamer against their outer lines, causing them to jump, and sputter, and dart about like a swarm of ants, shell-like craft, whilst they vociferously hurl maledictions at the great steamer.”

     

  • Lost Hong Kong: A history in pictures

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    The story of Hong Kong is one of almost constant change. From a sleepy fishing community, Hong Kong – now a Special Administrative Region following its return from Britain to China in July 1997 – has grown into one of the most significant financial and trading centres of the world.

    Hong Kong Island itself has witnessed massive rebuilding over the years, with the result that much of the colonial-era architecture has been swept away and replaced by skyscrapers. Moreover the first high-rise buildings constructed from the late 1950s onwards are now themselves under threat as the constant requirement for more accommodation – both for people and for businesses – continues.

    The Kowloon peninsula and the New Territories have also experienced development, whilst the construction of the new airport saw the destruction of an entire island to create the foundations of the new facility. The pressure for land has seen reclamation schemes extend the coastline of Hong Kong Island far to the north.

    Over the years photographers have recorded the changing face of Hong Kong: its street scenes, buildings and people. This new book – drawing upon images from a wide range of sources, many of which are previously unpublished – is a pictorial tribute to this lost Hong Kong. Once familiar but now long-gone scenes are recorded, offering a tantalising glimpse back at an era which in chronological terms may be relatively recent, but given the rapidity of change, seems like a distant age.

  • 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

  • Master of None: How a Hong Kong high-flyer overcame the devastating experience of imprisonment

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    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.

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    Chapter 1  Chapter 32

  • My Private China

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    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.

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    Introduction   Counting   The Re-Taking of Hong Kong

  • My Rooftop

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    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.
  • No City for Slow Men: Hong Kong’s quirks and quandaries laid bare

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    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.

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    Introduction   Horo-Logic   The Storm Cometh

  • Out of stock

    No Minister & No, Minister: The True Story of HarbourFest

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    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.

  • Octopus: The Pioneering Story of the World’s First Contactless Payment Card

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    Nowadays most people are familiar with payments using contactless cards, or even mobile phones. But few know that just after Hong Kong's handover to China in 1997, the city launched the world's first payment system using the then-new contactless smart technology.

    Drawing on the author's inside knowledge, this is a definitive history of how the Octopus card emerged, and how it progressed to become the most successful transport-based payment card. Disappointments and mistakes along the way are detailed and comparisons are made with similar systems in Singapore, London, South Korea and Japan. Chapters on lessons learned and the prospects for cashless societies round out the book.

  • Other Voices, Other Eyes: Expatriate Lives in Hong Kong

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    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
  • Paper Horses: Traditional Woodblock Prints of Gods from Northern China

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    In 2020 a large album of “paper horses” – prayer prints of Chinese gods – appeared for sale. How had these fragile things, cheaply printed in the 1940s and meant to be ritually burned soon after purchase, survived intact for so long? And how come there were at least three other identical sets in collections around the world?

    In answering this mystery, author David Leffman explores the history and techniques behind traditional Chinese woodblock printing, which dates back to at least the Tang dynasty (618-907). All 93 “paper horses” in the original album are reproduced alongside biographies of the gods, spirits and demons depicted, providing an illustrated introduction to the complex and fascinating world of Chinese folk religion.

    LOOK INSIDE THIS BOOK
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    Introduction   Stove God   Qilin Bringing Children

  • Paper Tigress: A life in the Hong Kong government

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    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

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    Early Days in Hong Kong

  • Paul’s Records: How a refugee from the Vietnam War found success selling vinyl on the streets of Hong Kong

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    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

  • Pelma’s Tears

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    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…

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    Authors' notes  Prologue 

  • Policing Hong Kong – An Irish History

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    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

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    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

  • Remembering Bruce Lee: And Jon Benn’s Other Adventures

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    “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

     

  • Roving Through Southern China: An American’s Explorations of Hong Kong, Macao and Canton in the early 1920s

    HK$90.00
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    By Harry Franck, introduced and annotated by Paul French
     
    No. 4 in the China Revisited series
     
    In the 1920s the American travel writer Harry A Franck was known to readers as the “Prince of Vagabonds”. His wanderings were family affairs and he arrived in southern China in 1923 with his wife, their two young children and his mother. Franck always claimed that his travel plans were random, subject to chance encounters and whatever caught his eye.
     
    He arrives in a Hong Kong which is building modern department stores and large houses while labourers sleep on straw mats beside the harbour. In Macao he visits temples, ancient forts and, of course, casinos. And then to Canton (Guangzhou), a city in flux where new buildings are transforming the waterfront, the ancient city walls are being demolished, and the traditional rookeries of small lanes are being replaced by wide asphalt roads as the city rapidly modernises. Franck also provides us with a highly detailed description of Shamian Island a year after the tumultuous strikes and boycotts that meant naval gunboats and barbed wire still protected the small foreign enclave.
  • Saudi Match Point

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    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
  • Searching for Billie: A journalist’s quest to understand his mother’s past leads him to discover a vanished China

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    Ian Gill’s first visit to Hong Kong in 1975 takes an unexpected turn when he meets his Chinese mother Billie’s friends, colleagues and fellow ex-prisoners of war, lifting the veil on a tumultuous past in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

    He moves to Asia and unravels her intriguing journey: from controversial adoption by an English postmaster in Changsha to popular radio broadcaster in wartime Shanghai, from tragedy and a doomed romance in a Japanese internment camp to being decorated by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the United Nations. He discovers a great-grandmother in a determined English farm girl who ends up owning a well-known hotel on the China coast in the 1870s – and he finally meets his father for the first time on a Canadian island in 1985.

    The backdrop for this fascinating family story is China’s turbulent century from the Anglo-Chinese wars of the 1840s to the advent of communism.

    Look inside this book:
    Contents and Chapter 1

  • Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews: A Collection of Biographical Reflections

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    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

  • Out of stock

    Sheriff of Wan Chai: How an Englishman helped govern Hong Kong in its last decades as a British colony

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    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

  • Out of stock

    Sketches of Sai Kung: From Clearwater Bay to the Country Parks

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    From Clearwater Bay to Tai Long Wan, the Sai Kung Peninsula is Hong Kong’s back garden – a place where people go to swim, hike, eat seafood alfresco, and escape the city. But besides the popular beaches and waterfront restaurants, there is an abundance of hidden attractions, and artist Lorette E. Roberts has discovered them for this book.

    In these pages you’ll find rolling green hills, weekend junk trips, gambling grannies and pooches on parade; walled village houses and old film studios; Sung-dynasty temples and rice farmers’ implements; fish markets, folk museums and wakeboarding clubs; a Chinese herbalist’s shop and the tools of ancient trades; sampan ladies, fleets of ferries, and ships of all shapes!

    Third in a series of bestselling books, Sketches of Sai Kung paints this beautiful area of Hong Kong in a new light.

  • Out of stock

    Sketches of Soho

    HK$188.00
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    In this full-colour book illustrating life in the colourful area south of Hollywood Road, Hong Kong, Lorette Roberts paints the town red – and orange, and yellow, and green, and blue… 

    There is a centre foldout of the rainbow-hued Staunton Street restaurants; elsewhere you will find the crimsons and pinks of tiny boutiques and musicians playing live in a purple bar. And those Soho-ites – from uniform in their working clothes to bright and exotic in their street party costumes – they are all there. You might even see yourself! 

    Yet there is more: the reds and golds of the temple and lantern shops, the muted ochres and turquoises of the old shophouses, the green trees and busy street market in vivid colour and, last but not least, the silver of the Mid-Levels Escalator which leads us to this vibrant district.

    A fold-out map at the back of the book will guide you through the less familiar streets. And don't forget to check out the connections between each page and find the ubiquitous snails. 

    Part of a series of best-selling books by this well-known artist, Sketches of Soho is the perfect gift item for residents and visitors alike.

  • Sketches of the Southside: Aberdeen Harbour and Repulse Bay to Stanley Market and Shek O

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    Hong Kong’s Southside – the glimmering stretch of coastline from Aberdeen, through Repulse Bay, Stanley and Tai Tam, to Shek O – is a weekend paradise of restaurants, markets and beaches, the destination of choice for sailors, swimmers, hikers and shoppers. These attractions are all captured by Lorette Roberts in this book but, in her familiar style, she has discovered much more.

    There are vignettes of the old villages, complete with traditional watchtowers, temples and scarecrows; sketches from visits to Ocean Park, two museums and a pristine marine reserve; a sampan trip around Aberdeen Harbour, and a secret tunnel to underground wine cellars. There are rugged shores and stunning mountain views; the elegant architecture of The Repulse Bay and Victorian waterworks at Tai Tam; and riotous dragonboat races at Stanley beach!

    Whether you are a resident or a first-time tourist, this book will introduce you to new and delightful aspects of the Southside.

    Previously published as 'Sketches of Stanley'

  • Sleeping Chinese

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    We hear news reports of the rise of China and its sleepless economy, often with sinister undertones supposed to alarm us. The reality can look very different.

    German photographer Bernd Hagemann has long been fascinated by China and its people. He carries his camera at all times, because on every street corner you can find people napping in the strangest positions and situations, even snoring in deep slumber.

    “When China wakes, she will shake the world,” warned Napoleon. This may be true. But let’s not forget that hardworking people need their sleep too.

  • South China Morning Blues

    HK$118.00
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    There’s no place quite like it. From Guangzhou to Hong Kong, the booming megalopolis of the Pearl River Delta has endless stories to tell. South China Morning Blues is filled with these tales of the postmodern East: depraved, rapidly changing, and never boring.

    Just what kinds of people find themselves in 21st-century China? There’s Marco, a crooked businessman with a penchant for call girls; Danny, a culture-shocked young traveler; Sheila, a local club girl caught up in family politics; Amber, a drug-fueled aspiring model; Terry, an alcoholic journalist; and Ting Ting, a lovable artist with a chip on her shoulder. Their lives intertwine in unexpected ways as they delve deeper into their surroundings and in the process learn more about themselves.

    China may be leading the world into the future, but its inhabitants will have to make sense of the present if that future is ever going to arrive.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to view sample pages from South China Morning Blues. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Prologue: Shenzhen  Monkey

  • Spatial Cemetery: A Journey Beneath the Surface of Hidden Hong Kong

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    The book you are holding contains secrets and stories about Hong Kong that have never before been published. Prepare to have your preconceived notions of this bustling Asian financial hub butchered as you journey through crevices, enter hidden portals, clamber over barbed-wire fences, evade security guards and infiltrate derelict structures to travel back in time. Your hosts are an anonymous grassroots squad of explorers who will show you a side of Hong Kong only a specialist minority know about.

    Although the city has some of the most expensive property on the planet, an unknown world awaits beyond the shimmering skyscrapers and under the glitzy malls. This is the hidden kingdom of non-spaces: environments and structures that lie fallow, usually abandoned and left to rot, or suspended in limbo awaiting evictions and demolition. The HK Urbex crew – a covert collective of urban explorers whose exploits merge archaeology, ethnography, historiography and anthropology – unearth dead zones on the periphery of the city. They invite you to explore haunted schools, rummage through old crime scenes, reconnoitre condemned buildings and uncover the scraps of modernisation which won’t be recorded in history books.

    So come inside, confront the aesthetic of loss, discover the value of dead architecture and see Hong Kong as you’ve never seen it before.

  • Stories from the Royal Hong Kong Police: Fifty accounts from officers of Hong Kong’s colonial-era police force

    HK$138.00
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    Fighting to survive on a police patrol launch during a typhoon, and investigating a murder by a Vietnamese gangster in a refugee camp. Battling riots during the Cultural Revolution, countering drug smuggling and pimping by the triads, and dealing with bank robbers in a hostage situation. These are just some of the stories told in this riveting compilation of personal experiences of former Royal Hong Kong Police officers.

    In 1997, Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty after 156 years of British rule. This collection of no-holds-barred accounts by some 50 individual police officers, put together by three former colleagues, illustrates the last decades of the colony’s colourful history. This is what life was really like on the front line.

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

    Contents, preface and three stories

  • Storm Whale

    HK$130.00
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    Illustrated by Jane Tanner

    Shortlisted for the 2018 Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award, Children's Fiction

    A captivating and beautifully illustrated story about three sisters who find a stranded whale on a windswept beach and try to save it.

    Bleak was the day and the wind whipped down
    when I and my sisters walked to town ...


    With a powerful, poetic text, wonderful to read aloud, and illustrations full of life and movement, Storm Whale celebrates the majesty and vulnerability of nature and our place in it.

    "A story of the sea and the possibilities of interactions between humans and other creatures… a story of human kindness and hope" - Magpies

    Ages 4 to 8

  • Strangers on the Praia: A Tale of Refugees and Resistance in Wartime Macao

    HK$78.00
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    Based on true stories and new research, Paul French weaves together the stories of those Jewish refugees who moved on from wartime Shanghai to seek a possible route to freedom via the Portuguese colony of Macao – “the Casablanca of the Orient”.

    The delicately balanced neutral enclave became their wartime home, amid Nazi and Japanese spies, escaped Allied prisoners from Hong Kong, and displaced Chinese.

    Strangers on the Praia relates the story of one young woman’s struggle for freedom that would ultimately prove an act of brave resistance.

     

  • Street Life Hong Kong: Outdoor workers in their own words

    HK$158.00
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    with photographs by Michael Perini

    Hong Kong is famous for its bustling streets. In this book we hear from two dozen real people who provide its outdoor colour. We meet a flower seller, a street musician and a tram driver; a bouncer, a shoeshiner and a gas canister delivery man; a site foreman and a lifeguard; one man who climbs bamboo scaffolding for a living, and a woman who ferries visitors around the harbour on a sampan.

    These are the working people who are always seen but rarely heard, and in this book they tell their life stories in their own words. Sharp black-and-white portraits immerse the reader in the dynamic streetscape of Hong Kong.

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

    Contents   Tony Tam Kwok-Chiu, Assistant foreman   Chu Yin-Ping, Sampan tour guide

  • Sunset Survivors: Meet the people keeping Hong Kong’s traditional industries alive

    HK$288.00
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    with photography by Gary Jones

    Sunset Survivors tells the stories of Hong Kong’s traditional tradesmen and women through stunning imagery and candid interviews. Covering a myriad of curious professions that are quickly falling into obscurity, from fortune telling to face threading and letter writing to bird cage making, readers soon find themselves immersed in the streets of old Hong Kong.

    Filled with interviews, photographs and little-known facts about the city’s twilight industries, Sunset Survivors is a tribute to those who keep the flame burning in a city besieged by foreign imports and stiff competition. This book is a celebration of Hong Kong’s cultural identity. It preserves the memory of these hardy men and women, and educates visitors and locals on the foundations on which the city was built.

    An up-close and personal look at the industries and workers that gave rise to the Hong Kong of today, Sunset Survivors is more than just a travel or coffee-table book; it is a tribute to the city’s character, a celebration of its roots and a guide to its evolution.

    In a city undergoing a dramatic cultural shift, balancing social and political upheaval, the need to document Hong Kong’s traditional livelihoods has seldom been greater. Capturing the true personality of this metropolis, Sunset Survivors is a vital piece of history.

  • Sustainably Stylish: A guide to curating a guilt-free wardrobe

    HK$180.00
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    Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes but constantly feel like you have nothing to wear? Are you lured by a sale but buy because the price is right instead of the style? Are you guilty of throwing clothes 'away' without knowing where they really go? Would you love to consume more consciously but don't know where to start?

    If you've answered yes to at least one of these questions, then this is the book for you.

    Hong Kong-based retail professional and sustainable fashion advocate Sheryl Bolden demystifies sustainability within the fashion industry and offers a unique insight into how clothes are bought, worn and discarded. The book's informal chatty tone is relatable, and the pages are packed with tips, tricks and advice on becoming a stylish, savvy and conscious consumer.

    Split into three sections that can be read in any order, the book covers everything from shopping and editing your own wardrobe, to exploring innovative new materials and the future of fashion, to simply understanding how fast fashion exploded and changed the industry forever. Punctuated with inspiring and witty quotes and illustrations, this book is perfect for those who strive to curate a wardrobe that reflects their values as well as their style.

  • Tales from Victoria Park: Short stories of Indonesian women in Hong Kong

    HK$108.00
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    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 maids, 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.

    Leila and Ahmed spend the day searching for a place to make love on their one day off, but all the cheap hotels are filled with other lovers celebrating the “End of Ramadan.” Ani finds an unusual way to put a curse on a rival for her affections in “Golden Needles”, while Retno decides that if she becomes a Mormon maybe she can find a regular place to sleep at night. “Wiji” somehow manages to juggle her two Western boyfriends until she manipulates them both into helping her buy a rice field back home, then finds that they insist on accompanying her to her home village as her great benefactors. “Wati and Murtini” grew up in the same small village in Java and worked together in Hong Kong until, on one hot day in Victoria Park, friendship ended in betrayal.

    From the comic to the bizarre to the heart-breaking, these cross-cultural tales of exiles in another country build on a sensual evocation of place and character.

  • Thai the Knot: How to Untangle the Complexities of Cross-cultural Marriage

    HK$78.00
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    Western men are beguiled in their thousands by the enchanting women of Thailand. But many make poor choices when it comes to marrying women whose needs, habits and expectations are very different from their own, and a clash of cultures can ruin a romance.

    Who better to advise than a Thai woman herself? No topic is taboo as Pop Soisangwan offers insider knowledge on how to secure a successful match. Illustrated with humorous cartoons.

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

    What do Thais think of you?

  • The Alphabet of Vietnam

    HK$108.00
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    When men come back from wars, they bring their wars back with them

    When Joe dies, his brother Jack thinks it’s an accident... until the parcel arrives with Joe’s diaries and notebooks, and the map of the cabin high up in the Appalachians where Joe’s war buddy, Wash, is hiding out with a girl he’s kidnapped – just the latest in a long line of girls. Joe has one last favour to ask of his brother. He wants Jack to rescue the girl and – if he has to – kill Wash too.

    So starts a complex and intense tale that involves a journey back to Vietnam and into the dark past: a past where Clausewitz, the philosopher of war, meets de Sade, the philosopher of man’s own individual evil.

    But there are too the incendiary eyes of innocent judgment. And there is love – and love is complicated.

    Look inside this book
    Click on this link to view sample pages from The Alphabet of Vietnam. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Chapter 1

  • The Chakrata Incident

    HK$138.00
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    Major Max Devlin, poised for a commanding post in the Royal Gurkha Rifles, is seconded to the SIS for a joint assignment with the CIA at Chakrata, the headquarters of India’s All-Tibetan Special Frontier Force, aka the 22s.

    Together with his American counterpart, Devlin is tasked with training and preparing a newly formed elite unit of the 22s for covert cross-border ops inside Tibet, as part of a tripartite project funded by the US to monitor China’s ever-expanding presence in the disputed areas. What begins as a welcome escape for the desk-bound Gurkha officer at the Ministry of Defence quickly becomes deadly toxic – and politically explosive.

    A shamanic curse on the misogynist US Ranger risks torpedoing the mission. An Indian cabinet headed by a Sinophile premier and peopled by self-serving ministers is bitterly split on where national (read personal) interests lie. Into the mix come a ruthlessly ambitious Indian intelligence officer whose allegiance is unto himself and a bunch of local politicians bent on avenging the deaths of their salacious sons at the hands of Devlin and his Gurkha sergeant Deepraj.

    Once across the Sino-Indian border, the SFF soldiers will be alone – unattributable and expendable if captured by the PLA. Deep into and high on the Himalayas, they come face-to-face with death and torture. Caught in the spinning geopolitical web are three remarkable women – two Tibetan officers and a Muslim combat surgeon – whose courage, faith and skill will be tested to the limits in circumstances beyond their wildest imagination.

    As for Devlin, faced with a call on his principles as a professional soldier and the realisation of his cherished ambition in the Royal Gurkha Rifles, he must decide how the die is cast.

    A prequel to The Dharma Expedient and Devlin’s Chakra, The Chakrata Incident is Max Devlin’s swansong as a British soldier, setting the scene for his and the trusted Deepraj’s intrepid adventures in the unforgiving terrain that is at the very heart of Asia.

  • The Chinese Wet Market Handbook: A guide to shopping at Hong Kong’s fresh food markets

    HK$98.00
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    Have you ever wondered about that wacky-looking fruit staring back at you in the local wet market? Or did you want to know how to cook a particular Chinese vegetable, but don’t have the language skills?

    The Chinese Wet Market Handbook gives you the answers! This pocket-sized guidebook, designed to be taken out shopping with you, identifies fresh produce commonly found at Hong Kong’s food markets.

    Each item is identified by a photo, its English name, its romanised Cantonese name with tones, and its name in full-form Chinese characters. The guide explains traditional signage in Chinese characters, including weights and measures, and indicates whether a food is locally produced. Finally, it describes ten lively Hong Kong wet markets especially worth visiting and provides directions on how to find them.

    Whether you’re a Hong Kong resident who wants to shop at food markets but lacks the linguistic and culinary know-how, or a tourist who wants to explore the local culinary sights, this handy guide will help y