Muhammad Cohen

Muhammad Cohen

  • Hong Kong On Air

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    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.

  • The Great Walk of China: Travels on foot from Shanghai to Tibet

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    What kind of people would you meet if you decided to walk across the world's most populous country?

    The Great Walk of China is a journey into China's heartland, away from its surging coastal cities, where the ripples of prosperity are only just beginning to be felt and many find themselves left behind.

    Through his conversations with the people he meets along the way, the Chinese-speaking Earnshaw paints a portrait of a nation struggling to come to terms with its newfound identity and its place in the world. Our wandering guide never backs away from sensitive and sometimes uncomfortable topics, and captures the essential kindness and generosity of the Chinese people with brilliant clarity.

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    Prologue

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    Dragon Bones: Two Years Beneath the Skin of a Himalayan Kingdom

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    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.

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    11-19

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    CHINA: Portrait of a People

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    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.

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    Gansu  Hainan

  • Wanderings in China: Hong Kong and Canton, Christmas and New Year, 1878/1879

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    By Constance Gordon-Cumming, introduced and annotated by Paul French
     
    No. 2 in the China Revisited series
     
    Inveterate Victorian traveller and prolific artist Constance Gordon-Cumming, born in Glasgow in 1837, roamed far and wide from the Scottish Highlands to the American West; the islands of Hawaii to southern China. Even among her many adventures, her 1878/1879 trip to Hong Kong was momentous. Gordon-Cumming arrived just before Christmas 1878 to inadvertently witness the terrible “Great Fire” of Hong Kong that swept devastatingly through the Central and Mid-Levels districts.
     
    She then moved on to explorations of the streets, temples and Chinese New Year festivities in Canton (Guangzhou). Her detailed descriptions of the teeming streets of the city’s commercial districts and New Year temple fairs contrast with her temporary residence in the relative calm of the foreign enclave on Shamian Island. Venturing out of the city on expeditions, Gordon-Cumming gives us perhaps one of the most complete descriptions of the now long-gone market gardens of Fa-tee with the famed nurseries that cultivated a bewildering variety of flowers and ornamental trees.

    Finally Gordon-Cumming returns to Hong Kong to observe the annual "Derby Day" races at Happy Valley in February 1879, a major event on Hong Kong’s Victorian-era social calendar. Gordon-Cumming is at one and the same time that rare travel writer who, while plunging into the throngs and crowds, manages to observe the minutiae of life around her.

    “The flames rapidly gained the mastery, suddenly bursting from fresh houses here and there, where least suspected, and spreading from street to street. That night we stood watching this appallingly magnificent scene – the flames rising and falling, leaping and dancing, now bursting from some fresh house, shooting up in tongues of fire, now rolling in dense volumes of black smoke.”

     

  • Storm Whale

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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

  • 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

  • The Tale of Chester Choi

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    Chester Choi is one bad dragon. He just loves children… eating them, that is! But Chester has a secret – he’s desperately lonely and what he really wants is a friend. A tale of greed, bad upbringing and the transformative power of love!

    Features the dragon in Chinese mythology and the South China Sea. 

    Age range: 5 to 8

  • The Tale of Rhonda Rabbit

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    It’s 221BC, and the mighty Emperor Qin Shi Huang is not amused. Somebody or something is stealing from the royal vegetable patch! Enter Rhonda Rabbit, one very bad bunny, with extremely annoying habits and an appetite to match! Will the Emperor save his greens, or will Rhonda Rabbit live to crunch another day? Find out in this funny and fabulous Chinese Calendar Tale!

    Features the mighty Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the Great Wall of China and the Legend of the Rabbit in the Moon.

    Age range: 7 to 12

  • The Tale of Temujin

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    Temujin the Tiger is the Terror of the East. He’s wrought a trail of destruction and fine dining from Mongolia right up to the gates of the Grand Imperial Palace in Beijing! But Princess Precious is pretty awful as well, with a talent for tantrums and an ear-piercing scream! Watch what happens when two irresistible forces collide in this hilarious rhyming tale for kids of all ages!

    Features Genghis Khan and the Imperial Palace in Beijing.

    Age range: 6 to 10

  • The Tale of Oswald Ox

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    Meet Oswald Ox, bone idle on the farm, just chewing his cud and rolling in the mud while all the other animals are hard at work. No wonder he’s in trouble! Then the winter stores go missing, and Oswald is firmly in the frame. Will wisdom and dignity triumph over meanness and greed? A tale for our times…

    Features Chinese farming practices including the use of oxen, rice paddies and farm animals.

    Ages 7 to 10

     

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Apologies Forthcoming: Stories not about Mao

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    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.

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    Men Don't Apologize

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

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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.

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    What do Thais think of you?

  • Don’t Joke on the Stairs: How I learnt to navigate China by breaking most of the rules

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    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.

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    Smile Comes Before a Fall

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Coming to Canada

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    With sensitivity and tenderness, Starkie Mak has captured a tale of the immigrant experience, from the eyes of a child. Masterfully rendered with careful homage paid to the children’s books that have touched the hearts of so many, Mak’s brush strokes and calligraphy evoke the turbulent emotions and difficulties a child must surely experience when having their little world upended, only to have a much larger and foreign world unfold before them.

    In a heartbreaking parting, a child says goodbye to her family and is left with her imagination as guide. In search of a new life in a new land, a child retreats into the realm of fantasy. Through the devastating pain of childhood loss emerges the joy of a child’s triumph.

  • 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

  • Out of stock

    Boxed Set of 12 Chinese Calendar Tales

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    An entire set of all 12 Chinese Calendar Tales, plus companion title The Tale of Pin Yin Panda, in a beautiful display box. Perfect as a gift for Chinese New Year, Christmas, birthdays or any other special occasion!

    Includes:

    The Tale of Run Run Rat / The Tale of Oswald Ox / The Tale of Temujin [Tiger] / The Tale of Rhonda Rabbit / The Tale of Chester Choi [Dragon] / The Tale of Sybil Snake / The Tale of a Dark Horse / The Tale of Rodney Ram / The Tale of Ming Kee Monkey / The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster / The Tale of Desmond Dog / The Tale of Ping Pong Pig / The Tale of Pin Yin Panda

  • The Tale of Run Run Rat

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    Illustrated by Harry Harrison

    Meet Run Run Rat – a loveable rodent with a mission. He’s determined to find fame and glory when he sets out to travel the length and breadth of China. But fame and glory find him in the most unexpected way when he reaches Beijing on the eve of the Olympics Marathon… this funny story in rhyme will inspire anyone from 5 to 105 who believes that victory belongs to those who persevere!

    The story features the Beijing Summer Olympics 2008 and famous Chinese sites including the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, Guilin River and Harbin.

    Ages 5 to 10

  • 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
  • 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
  • With Bare Hands: The true story of Alain Robert, the real-life Spiderman

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    Overcoming vertigo — and countless injuries which have left him officially disabled — the 'Human Spider' has scaled nearly 100 skyscrapers worldwide: from the Petronas Towers in Malaysia to Taipei 101, from Chicago's Sears Tower to the Golden Gate Bridge. Reward and punishment have been received in equal measure — the flamboyant Frenchman has gained international fame and raised thousands of dollars for charity, but has also been arrested, beaten and prosecuted.

    Many people ask whether it is madness to undertake such perilous ascents without the use of safety equipment. But in Alain's view, it is madness not to follow your dreams! This is the inspiring story of a man who has conquered fear and exceeded his own limits: the world's greatest urban climber.

    "For Robert, tall buildings are his mountains. He eulogises the views from their summits and (police permitting) revels in the freedom." — The Guardian

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    Prologue  The Hatchling