The Umbrella Movement put Hong Kong on the world map and elevated this docile, money-minded Asian island to a model for pro-democracy campaigns across the globe. Umbrellas in Bloom is the first book available in English to chronicle this history-making event, written by a bestselling author and columnist based on his firsthand account at the main protest sites. Jason Y. Ng takes a no-holds-barred, fly-on-the-wall approach to covering politics. His latest offering steps through the 79-day struggle, from the firing of the first shot of tear gas by riot police to the evacuation of the last protester from the downtown encampments. It is all you need to know about the occupy movement: who took part in it, why it happened, how it transpired, and what it did and did not achieve.
“With firsthand observations, timelines, charts and explanations of the semiautonomous Chinese territory’s arcane political system — an uneasy blend of the relics of undemocratic British colonial rule and new elements of undemocratic Chinese rule — Mr. Ng spells out what many Hong Kong people, particularly younger ones, are chafing against. … His new book, Umbrellas in Bloom, offers a vivid account of the street protests that paralyzed parts of Hong Kong for 79 days.” – Didi Kirsten Tatlow, New York Times
Jason spoke to RTHK Radio 3’s Noreen Mir. Listen to the interview here.
“The book – which has forewords by student leader Joshua Wong and political commentator Chip Tsao – will be particularly useful for English-language readers who were not able to follow the coverage of Chinese-language newspapers, read the signs of protestors, or understand their chants, and therefore missed some of the more nuanced messaging. In particular, Ng offers an easily digested explanation of Hong Kong’s Byzantine political system and how its disfunction led to the protests.” – South China Morning Post
“Hong Kong lawyer and author Jason Y. Ng has published the first English chronicle of the pro-democracy mass uprising that rocked Hong Kong in 2014. In Umbrellas in Bloom, Ng, who was born in the city but educated abroad, recounts the small and big moments which made and broke the Umbrella Movement.” – Hong Kong Free Press
“The umbrella flowers blossomed and withered. Ng captures the lifecycle of the occupy movement with compassion and wit.” – Benny Tai, co-founder of Occupy Central with Love and Peace
“Ng’s authoritative account of the occupy movement is compelling and full of surprises. He combines a journalist’s precision with a Hong Konger’s passionate heart.” – Zeb Eckert, anchor, Bloomberg Television
“Insightful, accessible, and a hugely enjoyable read, Umbrellas in Bloom is jam-packed with eureka moments. The movement in all its vibrancy jumps off every page. It is essential reading for anybody wanting to understand the existential crisis currently engulfing Hong Kong.” – Matthew Torne, director of Lessons in Dissent