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Any good books about Hong Kong?

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  1. #1

    Any good books about Hong Kong?

    I've had a mooch around the forum and couldn't find anything on this topic. I'm looking for some recommendations on books about Hong Kong, both those written by Hong Kong authors and especially those set in the city. A couple I have already read include Kowloon Tong, Myself a Mandarin and Gweilo Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood.

    I'm pretty much interested in anything Hong Kong based but it would great to get some recommendations on local Chinese authors who have been translated into English. Does anyone have any suggestions?


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    Last edited by PDLM; 02-04-2011 at 10:39 AM.

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    There aren't many good works of fiction set in Hong Kong, written in English, in fact there is a history of awful English language books about Hong Kong. Personally I would give the prize for worst novel set in Hong Kong in English to White Ghosts by Will Rhodes which is so bad it's kind of funny. Kowloon Tong has been quite heavily criticised but I've never gotten round to reading it, what did you think of it?

    Not many local writers have been translated into English. The most prolific 'local' writer of fiction in English is perhaps Xu Xi . She seems to live between Hong Kong and New York so is not exactly 'local' but she does write in English. I haven't read any of her recent stuff, but she's an interesting writer from what I remember of her earlier work.

    For non-fiction there is more choice. There are 3 major histories of Hong Kong: Endacott's History of Hong Kong (written in 1958) and Frank Welsh's more recent A History of Hong Kong (1997) are old school hitories of the colonial rule of Hong Kong rather than histories of Hong Kong per se but are fine in terms of the narrow history that they cover. Steve Tsang's Modern History of Hong Kong is sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read and hopefully, as the title suggests, it is a more 'modern' history of Hong Kong but I haven't read it yet.

    In terms of current affairs and recent history Christine Loh has written a lot of stuff which is on my 'to read list' such as Underground Front: The Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong, for example. Alice Poon's Land and the Ruling Class in Hong Kong is well worth reading, it's not that well written, but the ideas are important and interesting and it gives a good insight into one of the important issues in HK at the moment.

    Last edited by dipper; 02-04-2011 at 11:43 AM.

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    jan-philip sendker, "shadow´s whispering". pretty good, plays i hk an shenzen


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    ah that's a great topic. read a few of the books mentioned and indeed was looking for more. Keep the suggestions coming!!!


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    Some are available right here on Geo's sister site:
    Books about Hong Kong :: Bookstore :: Hong Kong Online Shopping


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    One 'soon to be released' is 'Eating Smoke' - TimeOut had an interview with author Chris Thrall.


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    Also, don't forget the James Clavell classics - Tai-Pan and Noble House.


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