Hong Kong Book ListsBritish journalist and novelist John Lancheste r spent much of his younger life in Hong Kong. His epic novel Fragrant Harbour , which spans much of the 20th century, begins in It tells the story of Tom Stewart, a young, adventure-hungry Englishman who journeys on the SS Darjeeling to Hong Kong , where he discovers a world of corruption and glamour. While this was was strongly denounced by the Chinese government, it laid the foundations for the freedoms that the people of Hong Kong cherish. Set in Hong Kong, this cross-cultural love story charts the complexities of a relationship between a married British foreign correspondent and a Eurasian doctor, deftly capturing the clashing values of East and West. Lancashire-born British novelist and poet Martin Booth, who grew up in Hong Kong during the s, shares his experience of being a young expat in British-ruled Hong Kong surrounded by distinctly Chinese culture and values.
The 11 best books set in Hong Kong
The book takes us on a journey through much of Southeast Asia. Through the eyes of George Smiley, caretaker chief of the British secret intelligence service, MI6, our imaginations are filled with scenes of drug smuggling, helicopter rescues and espionage. Set in , just after the British acquisition of the island, the novel follows protagonists Dirk Struan and Tyler Brock, former shipmates turned business rivals, each vying for profit and looking to expand their commercial empires. Action more your thing? Set towards the end of British rule, Jason Bourne is forced to take action and return to his old hunting ground of Asia when his wife, Marie, is kidnapped.
This global bestseller tells the story of British expat Claire Pendelton, who moves to Hong Kong in the s with her husband. After being hired by a rich Chinese couple, the Chens, to give piano lessons to their daughter, she begins an affair with the family driver, Englishman Will Truesdale. The novel flits between this love story and an earlier affair Truesdale had in the '40s, taking the reader through World War II and the Japanese occupation. The book that gives the Matt Damon action movie its name might feature a completely different plot, but its no less thrilling than its cinematic counterpart. The second in Ludlum's Bourne trilogy is set during the time of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and sees its titular character travelling from his native USA to Hong Kong in order to rescue his kidnapped wife, getting tangled in a conflict between Mainland China and the CIA along the way. Having been adapted into a film, a play, and even a ballet since it was first published in , The World of Suzie Wong is centred around the relationship between British artist Robert Lomax, who visits Hong Kong to seek inspiration for his paintings, and sex worker Suzie Wong, who Lomax meets when he checks into a hotel without realising that it doubles as a brothel.
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John Lanchester – Fragrant Harbour
In its last days under British rule, Jan Morris explores Hong Kong's complex past, present — and future. Humped or supine, silent in the haze, to the south and west the islands seem to lie bewitched along the dim blue coast of China, and to the north a line of mainland hills stands like a rampart — the hills of Kowloon, or Nine Dragons. With luck the sea, when the mist disperses, will be a tremendous emerald green, and if one looks with a sufficiently selective eye it is easy enough to imagine the place as it was when it first entered world history, years ago. They float paper boats shaped like junks and steamships. One is double-prowed like the cross-harbour Star Ferry which plies its way back and forth between Hong Kong [island] and Kowloon, never having to turn around. The fishermen load each tiny paper boat with some tea leaves, a drop of cooking oil, a spoonful of rice, a splash of petrol, before setting it afloat. Boats for the lost at sea, for the drowned.
Make Your Own List. Hong Kong continues to simmer with tension, years on from the 'Umbrella Protests' that made news around the world. But will it lead to advances in democracy or crackdowns by Beijing? Jason Ng , lawyer and author of Umbrellas in Bloom , chooses five of the best books for understanding China's 'foster child' city. Interview by Alec Ash. Born in Hong Kong, Jason Y.
By Rory Boland. Covering the political and cultural angles on the city as well as fiction and personal memoirs, these are our ten best books about Hong Kong. His balanced approach to the subject means both British and Chinese influences are dealt with equally with the starring role reserved for ordinary Hong Kongers, who, as Tsang details, transformed the city into the powerhouse it is today. A stinging critique of Hong Kong and its British elite in the dying days of colonial rule, Kowloon Tong is a typically gripping Theroux novel stringing together inept British families, corrupt mainland businessmen and the shadowy streets of the Hong Kong crime world. The book is an excellent thriller outright, but is also an insight into the uncertainty Hong Kong felt at the impending Hong Kong Handover. These powerful and personal stories are of an exotic, colonial Hong Kong that, like the Empire was once part of, has long since passed.