- Illustrated by Charly Cheung To be published on July 27, 2021 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
- 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.
"This is the story of my life: my autobiography. It is also the story of the music scene for almost a century in Hong Kong. In the past, I have mainly communicated with fans and listeners through music. This time, however, is different. After years of hard work, I have finally achieved my wish. I am sharing my life story in words and pictures."
All The Way With Ray tells the story of a man from humble beginnings who through hard work and dedication rose to become a giant in the music industry. His passion for popular music, especially that of the 1930s through the 1960s, has brought enormous pleasure to millions over the airwaves for more than 50 years. His daily late-night show built almost a cult following among Hong Kong people, here and overseas, especially those of an older generation.
More than just a story of one man, All The Way With Ray documents the history of the music scene in Hong Kong from the inception of radio broadcasting in 1929 to the present day. Against the backdrop of the territory's development and vicissitudes of that time, it charts the success of many local celebrities who credit their stardom in Band Sound, cover songs, Cantopop and folk music in no small part to help from 'Uncle Ray'.
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.
- Curated by Benjamin Salmon
Imagine an illegally built mini-city formed of multiple 12-storey blocks, taking up only the area of a sports stadium but home to 60,000 people. What was it like living in the most densely populated place on Earth?
Intrepid 22-year-old artist Fiona Hawthorne spent three months inside the notorious Walled City of Kowloon, an apparent no-go area right in the heart of bustling Hong Kong. This book reveals the sensitive and extraordinary artworks she created there. It is a unique record of a time and place that no longer exists.
“Ayo Gorkhali!” – “The Gurkhas are upon you!” – is the battle cry of one of the world’s most famous fighting forces. Yet the Gurkha story is not only about bravery in combat. It is also a story of tragedy.
In WWI alone, 200,000 Gurkhas out of Nepal’s five million people took up arms for the British cause. A further 250,000 Gurkhas fought alongside the British in WWII. In their 200-year history, the Gurkhas have served in places such as Malaya, Singapore, Borneo, East Timor, Hong Kong, Cyprus, the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. Although the British Empire’s reign in Asia has ended, some 3,500 Gurkhas are currently serving in the British Army in the UK.
Written by a Gurkha, this book tells the Gurkhas’ story from the very beginning to the present day. It deals with their history and its ramifications on the nation of Nepal.
Dear Hong Kong is a photo book about diversity and identity. This first volume is a snapshot of inspiring people from 80 parts of the world who live in Hong Kong and have contributed to our society. It is a tribute to the unique spirit of Asia’s world city in 2020. Come in and let the colourful human stories of Hong Kong touch you.
Bilingual: English / Traditional Chinese
《鄉港家書》是一本充分展現香港獨有多元文化的相冊。這裡記錄了80個來自不同地方，卻扎根在同一個香港的「異鄉人」的故事，訴說著他們為這城市默默作出的貢獻。我們謹以此書獻給2020年的香港 —— 一個與眾不同的亞洲國際城市。我們被這些故事牽動著心弦，希望讀者也可以像我們一樣，從字裡行間投入書中每個人真摯動容的故事中。
Asia, 1996. What do you do when you have failed to find the meaning of life in India, your money has run out, your girlfriend has gone, and prospects at home are limited? Go further east, young man!
Meet Joe Walsh, a backpacker who is determined to put a wayward life behind him and make it big in Hong Kong, where fortune still favours the British and opportunities are there for the taking. In the final full year of British-ruled Hong Kong, tourists and hordes of transient workers are exploiting the economy as well as the occasion.
Arriving almost penniless, with issues in love and life, Joe decides to make the most of this opportunity: he discovers one of the world’s most exciting cities, finds challenging new jobs, makes friends with an extraordinary cast of characters, and dates local women. He finds himself absorbed into a vibrant social scene through the communal existence of a travellers’ hostel, where drink, drugs and casual sex are a way of life. A stint selling sandwiches gives way to an English-teaching job, where he can at last start to live out his ambitions.
But an already stressful existence worsens after a night out goes wrong. As personal relationships sour and the pressures of long hours, minimum pay, classroom clashes and abject living conditions mount, Joe is forced to confront people he wishes he’d never met, and answer important questions that cannot be put off a moment longer.
Kwan Lai-chun was sick of being made to feel second-class by her husband’s concubine; sick of her mother-in-law’s endless carping about the money she spent; sick of the whole family. Late one sticky, humid night, something snapped in her – and she grabbed the meat chopper. Within minutes, three people were dead: the concubine with over 70 gashes, many of them to the bone.
Kwan was found guilty and became the second and last woman in Hong Kong to suffer the death penalty. But behind her story, and those of the city’s other female murderers, lie complex webs of relationships and jealousies, poverty and despair.
Taking the first 100 years of Hong Kong’s colonial history, this book unravels the lives of women – Chinese and Westerners alike – who found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Hong Kong’s female prison population was a tiny fraction of that in Britain or America, but there are still plenty of tales from its women kidnappers, smugglers, bomb-makers, thieves and cruel mistresses.
LOOK INSIDE THIS BOOK
Click the following link to read excerpts from the book.
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.
Previously published, in shorter form, as Business Republic of China
Jack Leblanc arrived in China in 1989 intending to teach for just two years. He was to spend the next two decades on a very different learning curve as he became involved in a series of business ventures in almost every part of the Middle Kingdom.
From farmyard to factory, boardroom to banquet, Leblanc witnessed (and occasionally assisted) the transformation of China from a socialist economy into the world's greatest experiment in capitalism. Over time it dawned upon him that the key to success is to manage the differences in Chinese and Western business behaviour. To do well in China you must carefully adapt your strategies – or face ruin faster than you can learn how to use chopsticks.
“This book is rich in practical detail. Leblanc’s experiences make for instructive reading for any foreign executive doing business in China.” — China Economic Review
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.
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.
“Every adult human being is an investment expert. Life is an investment exercise and you are your own best investment adviser.”
Jake van der Kamp is a resident of Hong Kong for more than 40 years. He has enjoyed a varied career, working first as an Asian investment analyst and then as a financial columnist for Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.
In this book he offers a “how to” manual on investment. He argues that you are already your own best adviser on when and what investments to make – and you should rely on investment professionals only for advice on how and where to do so.
In the wake of the Hong Kong protests, memories of the colonial past are fading. This new edition of David T. K. Wong’s sweeping historical novel brings the past vividly to life.
The Evergreen Tea House is a deftly crafted, provocative and poignant tale which blends mismatched love and twisted ambition with political intrigue and diplomatic mendacity. Set in Hong Kong during the twilight years of British rule, the characters live through tumultuous events – the Japanese occupation, the Korean War, the Cultural Revolution – and the emotional trauma associated with the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which precipitated Hong Kong's handover to China.
The unique and noteworthy element of this novel, beyond its strong evocation of time and place and its careful melding of facts with fiction, is its interpretation of historical events through a Chinese perspective.
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.
Designing a Life tells the inspiring story of Kai-Yin Lo, a determined woman born to a wealthy Hong Kong family who had to build her own future following an abrupt change in the family's fortunes. After a first job at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong, she made her way to Time Inc. in New York to establish a new life.
Encouraged by her first collection being accepted by Cartier New York, she employed talent, innovation and determination to become a designer of international renown, respected as an ambassador for cross-cultural exchange in art, design and thought.
“Kai-Yin is a polymath and a phenomenon, having seamlessly juggled an analytical career as a scholar, historian, teacher and editor, with the artistic and imaginative flair of an amazing jewellery, accessory designer and ceramic artist.” – Thomas Heatherwick, Founder, Heatherwick Studio, London
“In her role as Visiting Professor of the University of the Arts London, Kai-Yin Lo has done very valuable work as an effective contributor and ambassador, promoting understanding and application of cross-culture.” – Professor Jeremy Till, Head, Central Saint Martins, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of the Arts London
“Never ceasing to learn and create, Kai-Yin has proven herself to be an outstanding artistic and intellectual entrepreneur who blends harmoniously the aesthetic and the practical. The Asia Society on both sides of the Pacific has benefited from her generosity of spirit and cultural expressions.” – Ronnie C. Chan, Chairman, Asia Society Hong Kong Center
“Kai-Yin Lo is a creative tour de force whose jewelry designs re-interpreting Chinese traditional design principles were at the forefront of a reappraisal of traditional Chinese culture. She also seeks to share her interests with others through the philanthropic support of dialogues and talks that foster an understanding of new issues in Asian culture. These have included some of the most important cultural leaders of our time, such as Xu Bing, Tan Dun, and Shen Wei.” – Melissa Chiu, Director, Hirshhorn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
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.
The stand-alone sequel to the international bestseller Eating Smoke
Former commando Chris Thrall returned from a year in Hong Kong suffering severe psychosis from crystal meth addiction. The medical profession said recovery was unlikely and recommended admitting him to a psychiatric hospital.
“There’s nothing wrong with me!”
Chris refused all intervention and his life descended into a chaotic cycle of drug use that almost killed him... until salvation came in a surprising form.
In this long-awaited follow-up to Eating Smoke, Chris tells a harrowing yet refreshing and often hilarious account of addiction and one gutsy journey to recovery.
"After the harrowing events in Eating Smoke, if you thought Chris Thrall departed Kai Tak bound for a life of cream teas and Little England 'normality'... then you've likely not experienced the depravity and horror of drug addiction. In Forty Nights, Chris continues to confront his demons with his usual engaging honesty, side-splitting Royal Marine humour and storytelling at its finest." – Phil Whelan, RTHK
In 1969, at the height of China’s Cultural Revolution, a yacht sails out of Hong Kong and disappears. The world’s press takes up the story of the crew who are presumed lost at sea. But Gill and her friends are very much alive, held captive in a Chinese fishing village by Communist militia. As she faces questioning by the People’s Liberation Army, there’s a lot that Gill would rather not tell – that her crew-mates are British soldiers; her flatmates are Japanese, old adversaries of the Chinese; or that her boss, the doyen of advertising in Hong Kong, is well known for ‘firing Reds’.
In this spirited memoir, where Mad Men meets Han Suyin’s A Many Splendoured Thing, Gill recreates a Hong Kong of the imagination. Twenty-one, attractive and naïve, wined and dined by Hong Kong’s elite, Gill learns to stand her ground at her job in an advertising agency under the directive of the narcissistic Mrs Church. Her luck changes when Paddy O’Neil-Dunne joins the firm – he is just as eccentric but much more fun. After several visits to a casino in the nearby Portuguese enclave of Macau, Paddy embarks on the longest roulette game ever played and he insists Gill join in. But Gill finds the sparkling waters of Hong Kong’s seascape more seductive than the world of business and money; she takes up sailing and falls in love.
The backdrop is a gift. The Colony is an anachronism, a last vestige of British colonialism. Yet as Communist ideology gathers pace in neighbouring China, Hong Kong seizes every new opportunity and so does the author. Unexpected twists and a host of funny, bizarre and whimsical events are captured in her lyrical memoir.
Carefully bundled and tied together with ribbon, Gill’s letters from Hong Kong had remained untouched for nearly fifty years. When she untied them, she remembered her father’s words: “I think there’s a book in there.”
Squatting amid the luxury hotels and malls of modern Kowloon, Chungking Mansions resembles the dirty vent of a giant subterranean machine. This Hong Kong landmark is a hotbed of criminality and home to pimps, hookers, thieves and drug pushers. The five 17-storey towers also offer the city’s last low-rent refuge for asylum seekers and immigrants coming to start a new life.
Nepalese guesthouse owners rent out rooms to Bangladeshi workers, and Pakistanis sell mobile phones to Nigerian traders who hire Indian cargo companies to ship them home. Food stalls fill the air with the savoury aromas of international cuisine, and more than 200 guesthouses, as well as two floors of shops selling black-market, counterfeit and bargain goods, establish this unique place as a global hub of trade and multiculturalism.
In 2009, shortly after a Canadian tourist disappeared from Chungking Mansions without a trace, photographer Nana Chen began wandering the corridors. Using her camera as a guide, she discovered the Chungking Mansions not visible to the naked eye: the beating pulse that gives this notorious destination its hypnotic appeal. With compassion and courage, Chen sought to craft a portrait of Hong Kong’s last ghetto and its inhabitants before its vibrant character is erased forever by the inevitable march of progress.
“I grew up in the vicinity of Chungking Mansions. Nana Chen's intimate, visceral pictures of the Mansions are so unsentimentally authentic and beautiful that I am speechless and deeply moved.” – Chan Koonchung, author of The Fat Years
In war, you can pretend to be someone you’re not. Yet, in war, people find out who you really are.
Hong Kong, 1941. Anglo-Australian civil servant Dominic Sotherly’s colonial sojourn in Hong Kong becomes complicated by his double life in both war and love. Enigmatic Englishwoman Gwen Harmison possesses secrets of her own – plus an unrelenting desire for liberty. Inscrutable Eurasian Chester Drake is but one of Gwen’s secrets.
From gaiety at the Peninsula Hotel to persecution both inside and outside of internment, the story journeys from war-ravaged Hong Kong to war-weary China.
From real history, meet the one-legged Chinese admiral who led Hong Kong’s daring ‘Great Escape’ and the Japanese Christian soldier who risked his life for the enemy. And, uniquely during the occupation of Hong Kong, discover how one Englishwoman made history in her defiance of Imperial Japan.
Edited by Jason Y. Ng and Susan Blumberg-Kason
Published in association with Akashic Books
Akashic continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighbourhood or location within the city of the book.
Hong Kong Noir features brand-new stories by Jason Y. Ng, Xu Xi, Marshall Moore, Brittani Sonnenberg, Tiffany Hawk, James Tam, Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang, Christina Liang, Feng Chi-shun, Charles Philipp Martin, Shannon Young, Shen Jian, Carmen Suen and Ysabelle Cheung.
What will Hong Kong look like in five years, ten years, or thirty years when the “one country, two systems” promise expires? It’s impossible to foresee. Hong Kong’s future may be beyond our control, but some things aren’t. We can continue to write about our beloved city and work our hardest to preserve it in words.
When we asked our contributors to write their noir stories, we didn’t give them specific content guidelines other than to make sure their stories end on a dark note. What we received was a brilliant collection of ghost stories, murder mysteries, domestic dramas, cops-and-robbers tales, and historical thrillers that capture Hong Kong in all its dark glory. The result is every bit as eclectic, quirky, and delightful as the city they write about.
Look inside this book
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For more than a century, trams have plied their trade along the northern coast of Hong Kong Island. During that time, they have witnessed the transformation of the local economy from a colonial backwater to the massive financial centre that is the modern city. The post-war years, from the 1960s onward, have seen the radical redevelopment of much of the area along streets such as Hennessy Road and Des Voeux Road, while the reclamation of land along the seafront has seen the tramway, which once skirted the shore, pushed further and further inland.
Today, Hong Kong trams still provide a vital public service, carrying vast numbers of passengers daily to and from their work or shops, and Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world where it is still possible to ride on the top deck of a double-deck tram. This album explores the history of the tramways of Hong Kong Island through the 20th century. Drawing upon a fascinating selection of photographs, most of which have never been published before, it traces the evolution of the streetscape over that period – giving readers a vivid reminder of a city that has been radically altered over the past half-century.
Street food is the fuel of daily life in China, just as it has been for generations. In every Chinese city, adventurous travelers seeking a deeper understanding of authentic Chinese culture can find unique local street foods unavailable anywhere else in the world.
If you want to sample these treasures but don’t know where to start, look no further. With full-color pictures, taste descriptions, Chinese characters and pinyin names of hundreds of foods from 53 Chinese cities, this book gives you all the information you need to find the most delicious local dishes China can offer.
"Frank Kasell is one of China's best food bloggers. His blog is a giant, eating travel adventure." - City Weekend magazine, Shanghai
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.
“I can’t visualise us getting out of this, but I want to TRY to believe in a future,” wrote 23-year-old Barbara Anslow (then Redwood) in her diary on 8th December 1941, a few hours after Japan first attacked Hong Kong.
Barbara's 1941-1945 diaries (with post-war explanations where necessary) are an invaluable source of information on the civilian experience in British Hong Kong during the second world war. The diaries record her thoughts and experiences through the fighting, the surrender, three-and-a-half years of internment, then liberation and adjustment to normal life.
The diaries have been quoted by leading historians on the subject. Now they are available in print for the first time, making them available to a wider audience.
Look inside this book
Click on the following link to read pages from Tin Hats and Rice. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.
A former senior Chinese Administrative Officer has at long last lifted another little corner of the veil of half-truths and anodyne official releases which hitherto shrouded many of the decisions and evasions under the long Hong Kong governorship of Sir Murray MacLehose.
David T. K. Wong — who started working life as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant at the age of 13 before becoming a journalist, teacher, colonial bureaucrat, international businessman, and then a writer of short stories and novels — is clearly a man of many parts. He has now turned his narrative skills to producing a pungent, sardonic, cerebral and revelatory insider memoir of his experiences in the upper reaches of the colonial administration during the 1970s.
In doing so, he draws attention to the political, cultural and economic cross-currents that have always swirled through the uniquely paradoxical city. As a Chinese, he constantly found himself struggling with a three-horned dilemma: how to serve the people of Hong Kong, who paid his salary; the wider Chinese nation, from which he was culturally and emotionally inseparable; and the demands of the British crown, to which he had publicly sworn his allegiance.
Hong Kong Confidential is a valuable contribution to the historical mosaic of a dynamic Chinese community living through turbulent times.
Look inside this book
Click on the following link to read pages from Hong Kong Confidential. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
with a foreword by Howard Marks, bestselling author of Mr. Nice
In the 1980s, Bruce Aitken became one of the world’s most successful money launderers. Discover the ingenious methods he used to shift vast sums of currency across the globe.
From humble beginnings in New Jersey, Bruce was destined to be a baseball player until fate intervened, in the form of a knee injury, and forever changed the course of his life.
What started innocently enough, by answering an ad in the newspaper, turned into a globe-trotting lifestyle of moving money – huge sums of money – for some of the world’s most notorious and shadiest characters. From the jungles of Vietnam to the money capitals of the world, Bruce moved in circles where people would unquestioningly hand over millions of dollars to him on a handshake, to be deposited into Swiss bank accounts.
Learn the truth behind the Lockheed Scandal, the Cessna-Milner affair, the Nugan Hand scandal and one of the largest drug busts in US history that brought the party to an end. It all started to crash via an event in Reno, Nevada, and nearly cost Bruce the rest of his life in prison.
“A unique and perfect insight into the money-laundering world of thirty-odd years ago.” – Howard Marks
- Out of stock
Part of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series
The Peak is Hong Kong’s top residential district, where property prices are as high as the altitude. How did it become an exclusive enclave in the bustling business centre of 19th-century Asia?
The British wanted relief from summer heat and the Peak was the obvious place to escape it. When the Governor adopted Mountain Lodge as a summer getaway, development accelerated and the opening of the Peak Tram in 1888 made access easier. Gradually a community developed and a church, a club and a school were established.
This book describes how the now-popular tourist area developed over time and adapted as needs changed.
香港筆會 編 (Go to English edition)
Michael Braga · Mary-Jean Chan · Jennifer S. Cheng · 鄭嘉怡· Kris Cheng鄭樂捷· 周漢輝· Larry Feign方南理 · Harry Harrison · Gérard Henry敖樹克 · Louise Ho何少韻 · Oscar Ho Hing Kay何慶基 · Tammy Ho Lai-Ming · Sarah Howe · 羅樂敏· Arthur Leung · Leung Ping-Kwan梁秉鈞 · Louisa Lim林慕蓮 · Shirley Geok-lin Lim · 呂永佳 · William Nee倪偉平 · Jason Y. Ng · Margaret Ng · Timothy O’Leary 柯天銘· Michael O’Sullivan · Ilaria Maria Sala · Mishi Saran沙美智 · Shahilla Shariff · Shen Jian · 蘇美智 · 鄧小樺· Eddie Tay鄒竹文 · 陶傑 · Stephen Vines韋安仕 · Marco Wan溫文灦 · Wawa · Kate Whitehead · Joshua Wong黃之鋒 · 黃裕邦· Xu Xi 許素細· Marco Yan · Chris Yeung楊健興 · Douglas Young 楊志超
Kevin Lau Chun-to 劉進圖及Timothy Garton Ash 為本書作序。
20th anniversary edition
In the heart of Beijing, a large digital clock marked off the seconds until July 1, 1997, when the red, five-star flag of China would be hoisted over Hong Kong – and the grand but untried idea of “one country, two systems” would be put into practice.
Farewell, My Colony is a real-time journal of the end of an era by an objective observer. American journalist Todd Crowell captures a unique moment in history as Britain stoically soldiers through the last months of its 156 years of colonial rule, China waits restlessly to resume its sovereignty, and Hong Kong buzzes with endless speculation.
He tells how Hong Kong’s Chinese and expatriates, taipans and cagemen come to terms with the impending change of rule. He mingles with the rich and famous and common people alike. A long-term resident, he votes in elections controversially called by Governor Chris Patten. He then follows the selection of a rival legislature, and of Patten’s successor, shipping magnate Tung Chee-hwa, as the first chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The city’s pulse is charted by his pen, through to the pomp, circumstance and partying of the day of handover itself. Now, 20 years later, Crowell has updated this valuable historical record with reflections on what has happened to Hong Kong since 1997.
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
with cartoons by Ming
Of course there is no single Asian language. But plenty of vogue words from this booming continent are entering English.
Did you know there is a flower named after former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il? The Chinese have a word – shengnu, literally leftover – for the new phenomenon of unmarried women over thirty. Can you tell your jeepney from your jilbab, or yakuza from the yellowshirts?
These are just some of the hundreds of words that illuminate little corners of life and culture in a pan-Asian selection of keywords from the zeitgeist.
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Click on the following link to read pages from The Dictionary of the Asian Language. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.
Do the Hong Kong Chinese experience ghosts, hauntings, spirit mediumship, ESP and other paranormal phenomena just like people in the West? Or is their culture so different that the ghost accounts in this book will seem bizarre to anyone else?
This classic presentation of cases is based on 3,600 interviews, questionnaires and observations in Hong Kong in 1980/81, updated by recent materials over 30 years later. Interestingly, in spite of clear influences from ancestor worship and Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist culture, parapsychological theories of apparitions from the West also apply to the Chinese cases.
For this 2017 edition, Charles Emmons has revisited his earlier conclusions and added new material that has come to light in the intervening years. This book remains the only major cross-cultural study comparing Chinese with Western ghost experiences.
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Click on the following link to read pages from Chinese Ghosts. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.
by G. T. Reels
Confessions of a Hong Kong Naturalist is a natural history memoir, tracing the journey from novice to expert of an aspiring naturalist, Graham Reels, as he follows a trail of discovery into the miraculously fascinating and diverse world of Hong Kong's wildlife.
The memoir falls naturally into two parts, the first covering the seven-year period 1988-1995 in which Reels gained the knowledge and experience that qualified him to undertake the Hong Kong Biodiversity Survey in 1995-1998. Early chapters include descriptions of work as a research assistant at Hong Kong University, an M.Phil. study from a hut at Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, a survey of Hong Kong's freshwater wetlands, and work at Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden. The territory-wide Biodiversity Survey is covered in the second half of the book.
Throughout the memoir, different animal species that Reels encountered (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects) are named and described, and their ecological or behavioural attributes discussed in a lively and informal manner. Similarly, a range of fascinating human characters whose lives intersected with the author's in his study of Hong Kong's wildlife are introduced and engagingly portrayed.
Hong Kong, 1954. The British colony was not yet ready to hear about a Eurasian policeman having an affair with the police commissioner’s daughter. Twenty-two-year-old Simon Lee tasted swift punishment. He was banished to the outer fringes of the territory, to the far tip of a wild and distant island a stone’s throw from mainland Chinese waters — to Tai O, the ancient and murky trading post where fishermen, salt-farmers and refugees were thrown together with spies, pirates and triads. Pink dolphins swam the waters, eagles fished the sea, and some still believed that a tiger prowled the hills at night.
It was a place haunted by history, where corpses had floated in the bay just a decade earlier when Japanese troops occupied the police station, and everybody had a secret about what they did during the war.
Life was unpredictable for the band of beer-swilling misfits that staffed Tai O Police Station. Some said they needed reining in. But when a stranger was murdered on a beach, accused of being a Communist spy, Lee found himself on an unexpected collision course with his own masters in Central. Who had the dead man been working for? What did the secret agents know? Why was Central so eager to brush the execution aside? And who or what really was the ‘tiger’?
- Out of stock
(Go to Chinese edition)
The handover in 1997 saw Hong Kong’s smooth transition from colonial to Communist rule under the auspices of the ‘one country, two systems’ framework. But twenty years on, the real impact of the sovereignty change is just starting to register: the city’s near-total economic integration with the mainland, a massive influx of Chinese visitors, simmering cross-border tensions and a rapid erosion of freedoms. Believing that we are stronger and louder together, PEN Hong Kong invited some of Hong Kong’s most prominent literary and creative minds to reflect on the city’s post-colonial development, in a definitive compendium of essays, poems, fiction and artwork that marks this historical milestone.
Michael Braga · Mary-Jean Chan · Jennifer S. Cheng · Kris Cheng · Chow Hon Fai · Larry Feign · Harry Harrison · Gérard Henry · Louise Ho · Oscar Ho Hing Kay · Tammy Ho Lai-Ming · Sarah Howe · Law Lok Man, Louise · Arthur Leung · Leung Ping-Kwan · Louisa Lim · Shirley Geok-lin Lim · Lui Wing Kai, Eric · William Nee · Jason Y. Ng · Margaret Ng · Timothy O’Leary · Michael O’Sullivan · Ilaria Maria Sala · Mishi Saran · Shahilla Shariff · Shen Jian · So Mei Chi · Tang Siu Wa · Eddie Tay · Chip Tsao · Stephen Vines · Marco Wan · Wawa · Kate Whitehead · Joshua Wong · Nicholas Wong · Xu Xi · Marco Yan · Chris Yeung · Douglas Young
With forewords by Timothy Garton Ash and Kevin Lau Chun-to."The success of Hong Kong’s pluralist citizenship will come out on top whatever the challenges. Reading many of the contributions [in Hong Kong 20/20] confirms me in that view." — Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong
Syd Goldsmith’s first taste of China’s Cultural Revolution is blood on his tongue. It’s 1967. Hong Kong is simmering, plagued by communist-led riots and strikes, crippled transport, punishing water-rationing, takeover threats from Beijing and roadside bombs. And Syd — the only Caucasian Foreign Service Officer at the American Consulate General who speaks Cantonese — is made responsible for reporting and analysis of the Hong Kong government’s ability to survive.
The CIA station chief and the head of Macau’s gold syndicate play major roles in Syd’s story, along with Newsweek’s Sydney Liu and Maynard Parker, and a steady stream of inquiring foreign correspondents and China-watchers. Richard Nixon makes a cameo appearance — to talk football with Syd since the consul general won’t see him — in this riveting memoir of a year when Hong Kong’s “borrowed time” seemed about to expire.
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Click on the following link to read pages from Hong Kong on the Brink. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.
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.
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.
For an arresting mosaic of the great and complex metropolis known as Hong Kong – and an insight into what the people of the city live by and die for – a reader need look no further than the Collected Hong Kong Stories of David T. K. Wong.
Wong, a native son of this once British Crown Colony and now Special Administrative Region of China, has drawn upon his own experiences as a journalist, educator, government official and businessman to assemble a range of memorable characters for his tales. They range from barmen to labourers, from jockeys to expatriate bureaucrats, from scholars to tycoons, and each is infused with insights into the collective soul of the edgy, anomalous and perplexing place he finds himself.
These 18 stories are carefully crafted in the grand tradition of O. Henry, Maugham and Saki. Each has been individually published in a magazine or broadcast over radio in Britain, the United States, Hong Kong or elsewhere. They can be dipped into and savoured separately or feasted upon all in one go. Either way, the result can only be satisfying.
“David T. K. Wong is an exceptionally fluent writer whose compelling stories cover a wide range of themes. His talent sparkles, inveigles and mesmerizes.” – Sylvia Tankel, Editor of Short Stories International
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
Are the Chinese really so inscrutable?
China Hand Fred Schneiter delves into the lighter side of Chinese psychology, and in doing so demystifies one of the toughest markets in the world. With an unfailing sense of humor, he offers insights for Sinophiles, Sinophobes and everyone in between. On the Hong Kong bestsellers list for twelve months, this book is now back in a new edition — the essential item to pack in your China survival kit.
"Everyone working with Chinese, in or out of China, should read this and send a copy to their boss." -- Daniel Ng, managing director, McDonald's Hong Kong/South China
"Should be required reading for everyone setting out for China for the first time. Lighthearted and highly readable." -- Donald M. Anderson, president, US-China Business Council
Look inside this book!
Click on the following link to read pages from Getting Along with the Chinese. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.
Hong Kong Unveiled is an "access all areas" pass into Chinese culture and customs. Though written with a Hong Kong slant, it applies to any Chinese community worldwide.
Invited to a Chinese wedding or business function and don’t know the correct form? This book will lead you through the minefield where an innocent mistake could see you lose your friend or your business connection. Want to change a run of bad luck? Or are your jokes falling flat with your Chinese friends? Find out how and why in this far-ranging book – which also explains how many seemingly strange customs came about.
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Click on the links to read pages from Hong Kong Unveiled. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
with John Peters and Lizzie Sharp-Eliazar
Did you leave your fishing rods at home before relocating to Hong Kong, unaware that such a densely populated place could support recreational fishing?
Mike Sharp and John Peters walk you through the local angling spots and describe key tactics normally known only by Hong Kong anglers. Carp fishing, pier fishing, and trolling for game fish are just some of the topics covered in a warm, descriptive text beautifully illustrated by Lizzie Sharp-Eliazar.
Whether you live in a skyscraper or a village, this book will encourage you to get out onto the territory's beautiful waters or rocky shore and cast a line―in the hope that the next one will be the one that didn't get away.
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Click on the images on the left to view sample pages from Fishing in Hong Kong.
- Out of stock
with illustrations by Daniel Ng
and forewords by Joshua Wong and Chip Tsao
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.
Together with HONG KONG State of Mind (2010) and No City for Slow Men (2013), Umbrellas in Bloom forms a Hong Kong trilogy that traces the city’s sociopolitical development since its return to Chinese rule.
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Click on the following links to view sample pages from Umbrellas in Bloom. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
- by Feng Chi-shun
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.Look inside this book Click on the link to read pages from Kitchen Tiles. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Contents
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'
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.
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.
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Click on the following links to view sample pages from South China Morning Blues. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
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
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.
- Out of stock
Hong Kong’s bestselling parents’ guide is back, completely revised for 2015 and more comprehensive than ever before, with 70+ outing ideas! Filled with exciting child-friendly activities to do, see and experience, Hong Kong for Kids gives parents and educators all the important information they need to have a successful and stress-free outing with kids.
Whether you’re a tourist visiting the city for the first time, a seasoned expat, a life-long resident or a teacher planning a school field trip, this book is indispensable.
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Click below to view sample pages from Hong Kong for Kids. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
Sham Shui Po themed street shopping
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Victoria Peak Garden
In 2010, bookish 22-year-old Shannon follows her Eurasian boyfriend to Hong Kong, eager to forge a new love story in his hometown. But when work sends him to London a month later, Shannon embarks on a wide-eyed newcomer's journey through Hong Kong – alone.
She teaches in a local school as the only foreigner, explores Asia with other young expats and discovers family history in Hong Kong, all while trying to hold on to her thwarted romance. The city enchants her, forcing her to question her plans. Soon, she must make a choice between her new life and the love that first brought her to Asia.
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Click on the following links to view sample pages from Year of Fire Dragons. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
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.
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Click on the links below to read pages from Street Life Hong Kong. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
“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.
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Click on the link to read pages from Remembering Bruce Lee. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
Reminiscences and recipes of favourite international and regional dishes from households, fancy restaurants and back lanes which you can enjoy today in Hong Kong, that classy old gal who will forever reign as the Queen of Cuisine for all who knew her when she was the jewel of the British Empire.
Bestselling author Fred Schneiter shares a nostalgic romp back into that earlier era which has faded into treasured memories and photos. But we didn’t lose it all. The tantalizing cuisines and tempting cookpot scents of that earlier time remain. Many of them await you here.
If you’ve ever daydreamed about what it might be like to drop back into an earlier, less hurried time in an exotic corner of the world, this is how we found the food, the friends and the fun in old Hong Kong.
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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Click on these links to read pages from No City for Slow Men. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
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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Click on the link below to read pages from Paper Tigress. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
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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Click on these links to read pages from My Private China. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
- by Feng Chi-shun 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. Look inside this book Click on these links to read pages from Hong Kong Noir. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Foreword Inside Hello Kitty's Head The Taxi Driver from Hell
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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Click on these links to view sample text pages from Kowloon: Unknown Territory. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
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 you navigate your way around one of the liveliest and most colourful parts of Hong Kong’s food scene.
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Click on the below links to view sample pages from The Chinese Wet Market Handbook. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
Robert Wang fled the Chinese civil war at the age of five and came to Hong Kong with nothing. The colony was a harsh place in the 1950s and 1960s. But he was determined to rise to the top – and through hard work and resolve, he got there. The law firm he founded grew into the city’s fifth largest.
With the clock ticking towards the handover of Hong Kong to China, and no one knowing what the end of British rule would bring, Robert hatched an audacious scheme to safeguard the fortunes of Hong Kong’s richest tycoons. He would convince Singapore to take them in.
At last, he was walking with kings: dealing one-on-one with the most powerful businessmen and politicians of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. It was an exhilarating experience – but climbing so high has its dangers. After unwittingly offending the wrong power brokers, he was cast aside and left to defend himself against the damnation of corporate rumours.
Robert’s rags-to-riches story offers a rare look inside the unimaginably wealthy world of Hong Kong’s property tycoons; but also, as he tells the tale of four generations of his family, we learn that it is the traditional values of tolerance, filial piety and loyalty which endure.
"A riveting read." – Sir Run Run Shaw, Founder, Shaw Prize
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Click on these links to view sample pages from Walking the Tycoons' Rope. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
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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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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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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Chris Thrall left the Royal Marines to find his fortune in Hong Kong, but instead found himself homeless and hooked on crystal methamphetamine.
Soon he began working for the 14K, Hong Kong’s largest crime family, as a doorman in one of their nightclubs in the Wan Chai red-light district.
Dealing with psychosis, conspiracy and the ‘foreign triad’ – a secretive expat clique which, unbeknown to the world, works hand-in-hand with the Chinese mafia – he had to survive in the world’s most unforgiving city, addicted to the world’s most dangerous drug.
“A triad-controlled nightclub is not a clever place to work if you’re addicted to a drug with a tendency to induce horrifying paranoia. A lot of bad stuff is going to happen and it’s very easy for an Ice-addled mind to imagine that even worse stuff is also going on. This is at the heart of Thrall’s nightmare and it’s a narrative device that makes Eating Smoke work so well.” – South China Morning Post
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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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- Out of stockby 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
- Out of stockNo one represents diversity better than Eurasians – those individuals with a mix of Caucasian and Asian heritage. Once a source of shame, the Eurasian face has become the face that sells. It is the face with which everyone can identify. In an ever-shrinking world, the search is on for a one-size-fits-all global image. Eurasians have become the world’s poster boys and girls, much sought after as actors and models. Taking advantage of increasingly tolerant times and the growing commercial and cultural exchanges between East and West, Eurasians have gained prominence as entrepreneurs, professionals and athletes. This book of interviews and black-and-white portraits reveals how seventy Eurasians of diverse backgrounds see their place in the world today. Kirsteen Zimmern is a photographer of Chinese and Scottish ancestry. She has always been fascinated by the tell-tale signs of East and West in the faces of fellow Eurasians, and has found this fascination to be widespread: few days go by without strangers examining her appearance to discern her ethnicity. She lives in Hong Kong. Look inside this book Click on the below link to view sample pages from The Eurasian Face. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Pages 48-59
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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"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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Siu mai, har gow, jar leung, sin jok guen. These are all types of dim sum. But do you know what they look like, and what’s in them? Can you pronounce their names in Cantonese, or recognize them on a menu? Can you confidently order dim sum for you and your friends — especially if any of them have dietary restrictions?
Australian-Chinese writer Liza Chu has a part-time career as a Hong Kong dim sum guide. She has distilled her knowledge of Cantonese cuisine and Chinese dining etiquette into this practical guidebook to delicious dim sum. Each photographed dish is identified with Chinese characters and a pronunciation guide. Icons alert those with allergies or special diets, and there’s a special listing of dim sum dishes most popular with children. Master chefs explain their cooking methods, and even the art of tea drinking is covered in detail.
Take this book to your nearest dim sum restaurant and let Liza show you how to yum cha like a local!