• 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

  • Whispers and Moans: Interviews with the men and women of Hong Kong’s sex industry

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    Hong Kong has a bewildering range of sex businesses offering services to suit all imaginable tastes: from the glitzy nightclubs of Tsim Sha Tsui East, through the saunas, karaoke lounges and one-woman brothels of Mong Kok, to the streets and short-time hotels of Sham Shui Po.

    Chinese-language sex magazines print reviews of individual prostitutes, and promote an ever-widening array of bizarre sexual practices. Even mainstream newspapers engage pimps as columnists. Business appears to be booming – but there are hungry newcomers to this underground economy. How do local prostitutes deal with the ruthless competition posed by an endless supply of girls from mainland China?

    To find out, Yeeshan Yang spent a year gaining the trust of the city's sex workers, interviewing 50 hookers, hostesses, toy boys, transsexual prostitutes, mama-sans and brothel owners. The result is an eye-opening book which shows the human side of sex for sale. Whispers and Moans contains tales of easy money, financial ruin and hopeless love affairs – and rare first-hand insights into Hong Kong's huge but hidden sex industry.

    Film adaptations: Director Herman Yau has brought this book to the big screen in two movies: Whispers and Moans, which had its premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, and True Women For Sale, for which Prudence Liew won Best Actress at the Golden Horse Film Awards.

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    A rose by any other name

  • Wing Chun Warrior: The True Tales of Kung Fu Master Duncan Leung, Bruce Lee’s Fighting Companion

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    (Go to Chinese edition)

    Duncan Leung was introduced to Wing Chun Kung Fu by his childhood friend, famed screen star Bruce Lee. At the age of 13, after the ritual of ‘three kneels, nine kowtows’ in the traditional Sifu worship ceremony, he became the formal disciple of sixth-generation Wing Chun master Yip Man. Between 1955 and 1959 he studied with his Sifu at home, where Yip taught him how to apply Wing Chun to actual fighting. Leung trained six hours a day, seven days a week for four years, and used this knowledge fighting in the streets and martial arts studios of Hong Kong.

    In 1964 Leung befriended an old man who taught him rare secrets of close fighting, including the art of disarming a knife-wielding opponent, and silencing an opponent barehanded. When he opened his Wing Chun studio in New York City in 1974, he was challenged by martial art practitioners of every school but remained undefeated. Since moving to Virginia Beach in 1976, he has taught US Navy SEALs, members of the FBI, and various SWAT teams.

    In 2002 he accepted perhaps the greatest challenge of his life: to train six Chinese teenagers to become world-class professional fighters within two years. To this end, he returned to China to accomplish what many considered an impossible mission.

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    A Mysterious Old Man  Bruce Lee and I Beaten

  • 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

  • Waiting for the Dalai Lama: Stories from all sides of the Tibetan debate

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    Why does the issue of Tibet rouse such passions on both sides? And is there any way to find common ground?

    Chinese-speaking journalist Annelie Rozeboom worked as a foreign correspondent in China for ten years. During that time she was able to interview numerous Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet, as well as Chinese residents, Western observers and the Dalai Lama himself. As these people explain their life stories, it becomes clear to the reader why they think the way they do. The book also shows how history washed over this remote kingdom and how the Tibetans and the Chinese came to take such opposing positions.

    Waiting for the Dalai Lama is a uniquely valuable book which approaches the emotive issue of Tibet from all angles.

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    Chapter 1

  • The Curious Diary of Mr Jam: Official humorist for repressive regimes

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    He tried to bring comedy to Asia, but everyone just laughed at him

    Sam Jam’s whole life had been a tragic mistake. As a humorist in Asia he had repeatedly been sacked, blacklisted and chased out of buildings.

    But he refuses to believe that his audiences of conservative Muslims, Communist officials, religious police and Asian citizens in general have no sense of humor.

    This funny, poignant tale, which the author describes as “a novel for legal reasons”, is more than just laugh-out-loud entertainment. It shines an essential light on what global culture will look like as eastern ways of thinking start to dominate.

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    Chapter 1

  • Diamond Hill: Memories of growing up in a Hong Kong squatter village

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    "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.

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    Thugs and gangsters

  • Hong Kong Noir: Fifteen true tales from the dark side of the city

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    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.

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    Foreword   Inside Hello Kitty's Head   The Taxi Driver from Hell

     

     

  • HONG KONG State of Mind: 37 views of a city that doesn’t blink

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    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.

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    Kowloon Complex

  • Hong Kong Sweet and Sour

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    French artist Zabo arrived in Hong Kong in 1967, and condensed his year-long stay into a book of cartoons which has come to be known as an emblem of the era.

    Hong Kong’s street scenes, people and fashions are humorously illustrated with sharp satire, covering popular pastimes, social etiquette, age-old traditions and the customs of local people as well as foreign residents.

    Even half a century later, Zabo’s portrayal of Hong Kong still rings true, and his take on local life will resonate with everyone who lived through the Swinging Sixties – or wishes they had.

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

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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.

  • The Alphabet of Vietnam

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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.

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    Chapter 1

  • Wordjazz for Stevie: How a profoundly handicapped girl gave her father the gifts of pain and love

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    by Jonathan Chamberlain In 1986, Jonathan Chamberlain and his wife Bernadette had their first child, Stevie, a daughter. Stevie was immediately diagnosed with Down's syndrome. A few months later it became clear that she had a serious heart defect that required a `hole in the heart' operation. Something went wrong during the operation and Stevie suffered a momentary lack of oxygen that left her severely brain-damaged. For the remaining seven and a half years of her life she was blind, epileptic and unable to sit, let alone walk. She was profoundly handicapped. Wordjazz for Stevie is the story of Jonathan's life with Stevie and the deeply beneficial impact she had on his life. It is a story of great love. It is also the story of how this almost overwhelming surge of loving energy led Jonathan to found first the Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association, and then later another charity to take into China the same idea that the key to supporting children like Stevie is to support their parents - and to see the problem as one involving the whole family. The story that Jonathan tells is made even more poignant by the fact that it deals also with his wife's unsuccessful battle with cancer. In the end Jonathan is left to bring up his son Patrick as a single father. This is a short book but intense and deeply moving. "This may be the most moving story you will ever read," said Britain's Sunday Telegraph. Look inside this book Click on the following link to view sample pages from Wordjazz for Stevie. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Pages 7-35
  • Time Tourists: Extinct mammals go on holiday

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    Everyone loves dinosaurs, but so many other groups of wonderfully weird (and often giant) animals used to roam the Earth too – they just never had as good a publicist. The planet has seen tons of bizarre-looking mammals, which were closer to us both in biology and in time.

    What if they took a holiday from being extinct?

    Take a trip around the globe with these outlandish “time tourists” as they visit the modern-day places each species once called home. Colour your way through space and time and help make their travels brilliant!

  • The Crocodile who Wanted to be Famous

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    Illustrated by Mariko Jesse, translated by Liang Yue

    Published by Sixth Finger Press, distributed by Blacksmith Books

    A television-loving crocodile named Crafty swims from his riverside village to find fame in the big city. His arrival is front-page news all around the world! But once there, he begins to question what he really wants.

    Inspired by the real-life saltwater crocodile that visited Hong Kong, The Crocodile who Wanted to be Famous blends fact, fiction and fable – a genuine classic in the making.

  • An Even Dirtier Story

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    “This is a tale of two small towns
    Which grace the district of Twinkle Downs:-

    The first where people are good and smart
    And do their chores with a happy heart;
    The second where they are bad and mean
    And never bother to wash or clean….”

    Hold onto your hats! The Grots are up to their filthy tricks once more at the Twinkle Downs’ annual Maypole Dance! But they soon learn that life isn’t meant to be greasy when the Neats get even again in this rib-tickling sequel to A Dirty Story.

    More rollicking fun for the whole family with Sarah Brennan’s funny, fast-paced rhymes and Harry Harrison’s hilarious illustrations.

    Ages 4 to 8

  • A Dirty Story

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    “This is a story for girls and boys
    Who don’t like putting away their toys;
    Who think a bed is a trampoline
    And can’t be bothered to keep things clean….”

    From the creators of The Chinese Calendar Tales comes a tale of dastardly deeds and good clean fun! It’s the eve of the annual Tidy Town competition, and the Neats are working day and night to make their town look exactly right. But then the Grots hatch an evil plan with rather unexpected results!

    More rollicking fun with fast-paced rhyme and fabulous illustrations by the best-selling Brennan/Harrison team.

    Ages 4 to 8

  • Welly the Wild Boar and the Quest for the Egg Puffs

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    Illustrated by Catherine Choi

    Welly the wild boar loves nothing better than eating fluffy egg puffs! He roams his home city of Hong Kong in search of his favourite snack, but he finds many other tasty foods to try along the way.

    This poetic and fun tale of a loveable local creature will introduce you to traditional Hong Kong snacks and persuade you to go out and try some for yourself. See how many of these hometown street foods you can find!

     

  • The Marvellous Adventures of Maggie and Methuselah: A Mystery in Hong Kong

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    Illustrated by Charly Cheung Maggie loves hanging out with her best friends Methuselah (her talkative African Grey parrot) and Edmund (the richest boy in Hong Kong), but she loathes attending boring parties with her high-flying mum and dad! Little does she know that a Family Fun Day at Government House will trigger a thrilling adventure involving one of Hong Kong's greatest mysteries: what happened to the immensely valuable Chater Collection, which was hidden on the eve of the Japanese invasion in World War Two? A funny, exciting story for pre-teens set in one of the world's most exotic cities, where cultures meet and risks are for the taking! For readers aged 8 to 12 who love mystery, history and adventure! With 80+ illustrations. "Sarah Brennan’s work is a meeting between traditional Asian narratives and the universal taste of children for graphic stories. The tale-telling gifts shown in these books, along with the exuberance of the language and rhymes, make them unique in children’s literature." – Thomas Keneally, Booker Prize-winning author of Schindler’s Ark
  • The Tale of Rodney Ram

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    Rodney Ram is gorgeous, from his ear-tips to his toes. But there’s just one problem – he doesn’t want to lead his flock! Then famine grips Guangdong Province, and the sheep are in mortal danger. Will Rodney rise to the challenge, and save their woolly hides? Find out in this shaggy tale of shyness, sheep and an awful lot of luck!

    Features the Legend of the Five Rams of Guangzhou, the city of Guangzhou and the history of rice cultivation in China. Shortlisted for the Golden Dragon Book Awards 2016.

    Age range: 6 to 12

  • The Tale of a Dark Horse

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    It's 135BC and Emperor Han Wudi is desperate for a horse… but not just any horse. The horse he wants is tall, dark and handsome, fleet as a bird and free as a gipsy. But will it ever be pinned down? A tale of mystery, history and the fabulous Silk Road!

    Highlights the “heavenly horses” of the Ferghana Valley, Han Wudi and his conquest to the West, and the Silk Road.

    Age range: 7 to 12

  • The Extraordinary Amazing Incredible Unbelievable Walled City of Kowloon

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      Imagine living in a high-rise mini-city that people built with their own hands. This city took up only the size of a sports stadium, but it was home to sixty thousand people! What would it be like to live in the most tightly packed place on Earth? Fiona wanted to find out, so she went there to paint, draw and meet the people of the amazing Kowloon Walled City. There was nowhere else in the world like it. The extraordinary things she discovered are inside this book… Based on Fiona Hawthorne's real-life experiences in the famous Walled City of Kowloon, this is a children's book which is also for adults. A young female artist ventures into a place that everyone tells her is dangerous, but she spends time getting to know the people, and draws and paints their everyday lives. By doing so, she discovers the truth: that the Kowloon Walled City was industrious, child-friendly and welcoming. Even though the Walled City was very much Hong Kong, this story of discovery and acceptance is universal. Vibrant, colourful, detailed artwork depicts the busy life of a unique community that no longer exists.
  • The Tale of Sybil Snake

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    Everybody adores Sybil Snake – she’s beautiful, clever and extremely charming. But all is not as it seems in the Emperor’s menagerie, and Sybil is more of an enchantress than meets the eye! A tale of mystery, missing treasure and the extraordinary magic of love. Ssss… sss… ss… s… s… s…

    Features the Legend of Lady White Snake, the true story of Wu Zetian (China’s only female Emperor) and Kublai Khan’s famous menagerie.

    Age range: 7 to 12

  • The Tale of Ming Kee Monkey

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    Ming Kee is the cheekiest monkey in Yunnan, and her jungle friends are getting REALLY annoyed! Then one day she offends the Emperor Taizong of Tang! Ming Kee flees the jungle… but where has she gone, and will she ever return? And will she ever mend her mischievous ways? A tale of mayhem, monkey business… and the getting of wisdom!

    Highlights the famous Legend of the Monkey King, the extraordinary 7th-century Buddhist explorer Xuanzang, and the exceptional biodiversity of Yunnan Province.

  • The Tale of Pin Yin Panda

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    Pin Yin Panda has beauty, brains and a healthy ego to match. So on Chinese New Year’s Eve she makes a surprise announcement: next year will be the first Year of the Panda! Will the tradition of millennia be swept aside or will this practically perfect panda be put in her place? And what does the Edinburgh Zoo have to do with it? Find out in this funny and fabulous new companion story to the Chinese Calendar Tales!

    Features the Legend of Lord Buddha’s Race, panda diplomacy and 12 Chinese Zodiac stickers. Launched at Edinburgh Zoo 2012!

    Age range: 7 to 12