The Library

On this page are a selection of books with Hong Kong connections. If you have any suggestions for other books which should feature on this page please contact communications@hkas.org.uk


When the Future Comes Too Soon by Selina Siak Chin Yoke

BookIn Japanese-occupied Malaya, lives are shattered and a woman discovers her inner strength in a world ravaged by war.

Following the death of their matriarch, the lives of Chye Hoon’s family are turned upside down. Now that the British have fled and the Japanese have conquered, their once-benign world changes overnight.

Amid the turmoil, Chye Hoon’s daughter-in-law, Mei Foong, must fend for her family as her husband, Weng Yu, becomes increasingly embittered. Challenged in ways she never could have imagined and forced into hiding, Mei Foong finds a deep reservoir of resilience she did not know she had and soon draws the attentions of another man.

Is Mei Foong’s resolve enough to save herself, her marriage, and her family? Only when peace returns to Malaya will she learn the full price she must pay for survival.

This book will be released on 18 July 2017. Visit Amazon to pre-order your copy.


Through the Dragon’s Gate by Jean O’Hara

41rSaCsoRcL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Jean O’Hara is now a prominent psychiatrist in London, but she grew up in a humble tenement flat in Hong Kong in the 1960s, the daughter of an Anglo-Burmese librarian (later a senior civil servant) and his Chinese wife. Her childhood was a simple one, sleeping on a straw mat in a tiny bedroom which she at first shared with both her grandmother and sister. As Jean grew up she developed a fascination for medicine and moved to the UK to attend medical school, eventually becoming a consultant psychiatrist. This book is her account of a childhood steeped in the culture of China, and first steps in a career in medicine. Central to the story is the character of Jean’s Chinese grandmother, a charismatic matriarch who gave her a rich understanding of Chinese culture and an oriental outlook which has never left her.

Click here to purchase this book from Amazon


The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds by Selina Siak Chin Yoke

The Woman Who Breathed Two WorldsFacing challenges in an increasingly colonial world, Chye Hoon, a rebellious young girl, must learn to embrace her mixed Malayan-Chinese identity as a Nyonya—and her destiny as a cook, rather than following her first dream of attending school like her brother.

Amidst the smells of chillies and garlic frying, Chye Hoon begins to appreciate the richness of her traditions, eventually marrying Wong Peng Choon, a Chinese man.

Together, they have ten children. At last, she can pass on the stories she has heard—magical tales of men from the sea—and her warrior’s courage, along with her wonderful kueh (cakes).But the cultural shift towards the West has begun. Chye Hoon finds herself afraid of losing the heritage she so prizes as her children move more and more into the modernising Western world.

Visit Amazon to purchase your copy.


The Making of an Immigration Judge by James Hanratty MD

static1.squarespace.comHow does the immigration system and courts actually work?
We need immigrants but is there effective immigration control?
How are human rights applied in practice?
What should be done about migrants?

These and many other questions and problems are dealt with in this fascinating, well written and amusing book. The author was a former President of the Council of Immigration Judges for the UK. He demonstrates his vast experience of this area of law and practice.

But how was this experience acquired? How did he become an immigration judge? In a fascinating and clearly written narrative spiced by hilarious anecdotes the author describes his first experience of the law in the Royal Courts of Justice then as a lawyer in the Lord Chancellor’s Department in the House of Lords, one of the select few advisers to the Lord Chancellor.

He provides a unique history of the negotiations with China over the Handover of Hong Kong to China when he was the UK Government’s legal adviser.

After return to the UK from Hong Kong in 1997 the author was appointed an Immigration Judge. He describes the nature of the cases with examples, the difference between an asylum seeker, a refugee and an economic migrant. The numerous ways in which applicants try to get into the UK is described: some genuine, some blatantly fraudulent.

He suggests a way ahead in dealing with migrants and enforcement of decisions. He poses the questions why immigration control at all. He sets out the special qualities required to be a judge.

Many of the cases are described including heartrending cases of family reunion.

This book is a must read for all those involved in immigration matters, including politicians, lawyers, academics and indeed all those affected by the European migration crisis.

This book is available on Amazon and other book stores. Click here to purchase from Amazon


Hong Kong: Terror and Reunion by Nick Jagger

51xS+oHofFL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The awful fireball of an exploding man seared his mind’ – the Golden Gate Bridge was under attack!

Do you know Hong Kong? The author paints an evocative 1975 portrait of a beautiful, frenetic city-state plagued by crime and corruption.

An engineer arrives to construct the Mass Transit and stumbles across a drug and antiquities smuggling triad, funded by fixing horse racing; in a Malaysian cave he discovers a plot to demolish the Golden Gate.

British intelligence recruit a Chinese woman to infiltrate the triad; the CIA despatch an agent. The engineer is repeatedly targeted as tension builds.

An excellent sense of place and time underpin this dramatic, fast paced adventure which embraces Japan, the USA and Thailand before culminating in a thrilling chase through the Cat Street district.

Join the main characters as they become involved with gangsters and terrorists from three different cultures whilst unearthing a surprising, personal relationship.

This book is available on Amazon and other bookstores. Click here to view it on Amazon.


Entrepreneurs, SMEs and Innovators – GO ASIA

Master Key to Asia cover‘The Master Key to Asia packs an enormous punch! It’s inspiring, motivational and generous in its advice. It made me think more deeply about the countries in Asia I have done business, and the ones where I want to.’ Jonathan Mantle, bestselling author of Companies That Changed The World

David Clive Price really knows his Asia. He has toured, lived and worked in just about every corner of it, so he speaks from a wealth of personal experience. Better than that, he possesses the talents of a skilled negotiator and mediator. There can be no better guide to preparing the newcomer to this culturally rich and diverse region for the task of dealing with Asians on a business level.’ Peter Moss, Ex-Director of Government Information Services, Hong Kong

A Highly Informative & Powerful Resource…

In his fascinating book entitled, “The Master Key Asia: A 6-Step Guide to Unlocking New Markets,” David reveals clearly defined business secrets that are essential when expanding into Asian markets.

His invaluable personal experience clarifies regional cultural perspectives and presents solutions to alleviate common cultural blunders. Displaying an immense wealth of knowledge, David will leave you feeling empowered and excited to unlock new business opportunities throughout Asia.

*******************************************************************************************************************

MasterKeyToChinacAsia’s dynamic and highly differentiated markets are generating rich opportunities but also complex challenges for Western companies and entrepreneurs considering or already launching themselves in the world’s most vibrant region.

Wall Street Journal contributor David Clive Price shares his experience of advising many Asian and Western companies on their business strategies in Asia and of setting up his own company in Hong Kong and Asia.

Over 25 years of travelling and working from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur, from Seoul to to Bangkok he has collaborated with companies and business people at every level in Asia. Now, he reveals the winning strategies to leverage local knowledge to create strong relationships based on trust and credibility in Asia’s diverse markets. He identifies the business etiquette, cultures and business customs of Asia’s regions and cities, provides vital networking and negotiation tools, and shows how to target global brands and products for Asia’s cities and provinces.

With this second book in his innovative Master Key Series™, David Clive Price offers a clear path to transforming your company’s abilities to seize the opportunities of the Asian Century.

*******************************************************************************************************************

David Clive Price

David Clive Price PhD is an international revenue growth strategist, speaker and coach-consultant on Asia’s business practices and cultures. For many years he has travelled the region writing about its richly diverse peoples, traditions, beliefs and history. In 1995, he took up the post of Executive Speechwriter for Asia for the HSBC Group in preparation for Hong Kong’s reversion to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. After the Handover, he set up his own company in Hong Kong, writing presentations and advising companies on their strategic communications in China and in Asia as a whole. His experience with many Chinese and Asia-wide multinationals gave him the idea of marrying his business experience with his knowledge of Chinese and Asian culture. The result was a stream of books on Asian life, business, cuisine and cultures.  David is based in London.  www.davidcliveprice.com


Book

Synopsis

What does it mean to be a ‘Hong Kong person’? Hong Kong has never been an independent state, nor has it completely reverted to mainland Chinese control. Once a British colony, now a semi-autonomous Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong is something of a mystery even to itself. Although it has long had a majority Cantonese Chinese population, the presence of significant expatriate communities—Western, Indian, Filipino, and others—creates a unique cultural diversity. This is evident in Hong Kong’s literary output as well: although Cantonese is by far the majority language, English writing occupies a small but enduring niche. In this collection of short stories, eight writers explore the question of what it means to be in, from, and of the Hong Kong of the past, the present, and the future.

About the Editors

Marshall Moore is the author of seven books, including the novels Bitter Orange (2013) and The Concrete Sky (2003), and the collection The Infernal Republic (2012). A native of eastern North Carolina, he has been a resident of Hong Kong for six years. He teaches at Lingnan University.

Xu Xi (許素細) is the author of nine books of fiction and essays. Recent titles are Access: Thirteen Tales (2011), the novel Habit of a Foreign Sky (2010), and the essay collection Evanescent Isles: from my city-village (2008). She is also editor of three anthologies of Hong Kong writing in English, and in 2010 was named writer-in-residence at City University of Hong Kong, Department of English, where she founded and directs Asia’s first low-residency MFA in Creative Writing.

Readers can see a free preview and buy the print version of the book at http://www.new-ventures.net/HTM/Queen.htm. This is the cheapest source as there is no p&p charge to the UK.

The print version can also be purchased from http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/1905510438/ref=tmm_pap_new_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=new&qid=1412093543&sr=8-1.

An eversion (with free preview) is available from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Queen-Statue-Square-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00NJ4OOJW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412270928&sr=8-1&keywords=queen+statue+square.


Free Trade’s First Missionary: Sir John Bowring in Europe and Asia – by Philip Bowring

Untitled

Reformer, intellectual, colonial governor, Sir John Bowring (1792–1872) was the archetype of the ambitious men who made Britain the leading global power in the 19th century. Born to a modest trading family, he showed an aptitude for languages which led him to literature, then to radical politics in the struggles for liberty in France, Spain and Greece. Taken up by the philosopher Jeremy Bentham, he became a figure in the literary world. But his emphasis was on action rather than theories. He became a high-profile advocate of free trade and a liberal foe of Karl Marx. As member of parliament he supported full suffrage and other radical causes. He modernized Britain’s public accounts, invented the florin as a first step to decimalization, and became an industrial entrepreneur. Losing his money in the 1848 slump, he took a job as consul in Canton, which led to the governorship of Hong Kong. As Britain’s plenipotentiary in East Asia he negotiated a key treaty with King Mongkut of Siam but also started a war with China. His term as Governor of Hong Kong (1854–59) was plagued with problems. But there as elsewhere he left a legacy of liberal ideas.

Bowring’s impact was spread over so many fields that his name has been eclipsed by those with a narrower focus. This book brings his life and disparate achievements together, with a particular emphasis on his role in promoting free trade and his much criticized career in Asia.

Philip Bowring is a journalist based in Asia since 1973 variously as correspondent for the Financial Times, editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, and columnist for the International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal and South China Morning Post. He is distantly related to Sir John Bowring.

Click here to purchase directly from HKU Press

UK members visit Amazon UK to order or to purchase Kindle Edition


Hong Kong Internment, 1942-1945: Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley - Geoffrey Emerson

HKIHong Kong Internment, 1942–1945: Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley tells the story of the more than three thousand non-Chinese civilians: British, American, Dutch and others, who were trapped in the British colony and interned behind barbed wire in Stanley Internment Camp from 1942 to 1945.

From 1970 to 1972, while researching for his MA thesis, the author interviewed twenty-three former Stanley internees. During these meetings, the internees talked about their lives in the Stanley Camp during the Japanese occupation.

Long regarded as an invaluable reference and frequently consulted as a primary source on Stanley since its completion in 1973, the study is now republished with a new introduction and fresh discussions that recognize later work and information released since the original thesis was written. Additional illustrations, including a new map and photographs, as well as an up-to-date bibliography, have also been included in the book.

Geoffrey Charles Emerson has lived in Hong Kong for more than forty years. He retired in 2000 from St Paul’s College, where he taught history and English and served as vice principal and careers master. He was president of the Hong Kong History Society and is a council member of the Royal Asiatic Society (Hong Kong Branch).

Click here to purchase directly from Amazon UK


Lorette E. Roberts

Lorette is well known in Asia for her “bestseller” sketchbooks, on Hong Kong, China and Singapore. She now lives and has a studio in Suffolk from where she holds her watercolour, sketching and mixed-media classes. She is also an experienced speaker – loves answering questions however mad or cheeky – and has lead many seminars and workshops, both at home and when she visits Hong Kong and Singapore.

Sights and Secret of Hong Kong cover

SIGHTS AND SECRETS OF HONG KONG (SECOND EDITION).
Sketches, pictures and comments by Lorette E. Roberts.
84 pages.  Full colour Illustrations. A4 landscape.
SKETCHES OF SOHO COVER 3 SKETCHES OF SOHO
Sketches, pictures and comments by Lorette E. Roberts. 
64 pages. Full colour. A5 landscape
Sketches of Stanley - cover SKETCHES OF SOUTHSIDE ( Stanley Area).
Sketches, pictures and comments by Lorette E. Roberts. 
72 pages. Full colour. A5 landscape
Sketches of Sai Kung - NEW cover Aug 2012 (2) SKETCHES OF SAI KUNG
Sketches, pictures and comments by Lorette E. Roberts. 
72 pages. Full colour. A5 landscape

FOR HKAS Members – 10% discount of total price on any purchases from this website.  Please quote Coupon No: HKAS8/13

Website:  www.loretteroberts.com


Paper Tigress

A Life in Hong Kong Government – by Rachel Cartland

Paper_Tigress_med (2)

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.

To order online securely with any credit or debit card, or with Paypal, click here.


Beyond and Under Victoria’s Sway – by Joyce Stevens Smith

The author of ‘Matilda’, the history, published in the 1980s, of the Matilda Hospital in Hong Kong, and of Matilda Sharp to whom the hospital was dedicated, Joyce Stevens Smith was a sister in the hospital for many years.  She has now written a fascinating book which focuses more on the lives of Matilda and Granville Sharp.

In ‘Beyond and Under – Victoria’s Sway’, she gives insights to, and chronicles the life and adventures of, the Sharps who lived as comfortable a life in Hong Kong as it was possible between their arrival in 1858 until Matilda’s death in 1893.  Mrs Sharp was an indomitable person who had an exploring spirit and constant interest; as her husband’s wealth increased, their prominence and influence in Hong Kong grew.  The book also looks at the lives of other members of the family who were living in Norfolk and in Australia: the Sharps travelled extensively and adventurously.  It is an interesting book about a burgeoning, courageous and restless Victorian family – a way of life which was initially fairly basic and not without its risks and finished off with considerable wealth and unending activity in the Hong Kong of the second half of the 19th Century.

The advertised price is £15 plus P & P but Mrs Stevens Smith has kindly offered a discount to members of the Society at £11 plus P & P (First class £2.30, Second class £1.90).  Cheques should be made to “Joyce Smith” and requests for copies sent to Mrs Joyce Stevens-Smith, 28 The Fort, Cawsand, Torpoint, Cornwall PL10 1PL.(Email: joyce.fort28@btinternet.com)

Mrs Stevens-Smiths will kindly dedicate and sign each copy for our members.


Hurrahs and Hammerblows – Memoirs of Lord Sandberg, Former Chairman of HSBC

This book is priced at £17.99 plus £4.50 P&P for members (£20.00 is the normal price for the general public).  For those members interested in obtaining a copy, please make a cheque payable to Lord Sandberg and send to Patricia Whetnall at 23A Tollgate Avenue, Redhill, Surrey RH1 5HR, and a copy will be despatched in the post. Direct enquiries can be made by emailing Patricia at patriciawhetnall@btconnect.com. Patricia is the editor and distributor and formerly the PA of Lord Sandberg.


Stunning Giants- The Treats to China’s Future – by Timothy Beardson

China has grown rapidly as a low-cost manufacturer and by huge state investment into capital projects. Unfortunately, a reducing work force, rising currency and increasing labor costs prejudice the continuation of the cheap manufacturing strategy. Falling returns make capital investment less sustainable. Beijing recognises that the economy must be refocused towards domestic consumption and innovation to find a new growth path. Unfortunately, the consumer is not spending, for reasons such as concern about inadequate social security, and most Chinese high tech exports are made by foreign-invested firms. The route to continuing growth is not following the plans.


 Escape from Hong Kong – By Tim Luard

On 25 December 1941, the day of Hong Kong’s surrender to the Japanese, Admiral Chan Chak – the Chinese Government’s chief agent in Hong Kong – and more than 60 Chinese, British and Danish intelligence, naval and marine personnel made a dramatic escape from the invading army. They travelled on five small motor torpedo boats – all that remained of the Royal Navy in Hong Kong – across Mirs Bay, landing at a beach near Nan’ao. Then, guided by guerrillas and villagers, they walked for four days through enemy lines to Huizhou, before flying to Chongqing or travelling by land to Burma. The breakout laid the foundations of an escape trail jointly used by the British Army Aid Group and the East River Column for the rest of the war. Chan Chak, the celebrated ‘one-legged admiral’, became Mayor of Canton after the war and was knighted by the British for his services to the Allied cause. His comrade in the escape, David MacDougall became head of the civil administration of Hong Kong in 1945. This gripping narrative account of the escape draws on a wealth of primary sources in both English and Chinese and sheds new light on the role played by the Chinese in the defence of Hong Kong, on the diplomacy behind the escape, and on the guerillas who carried the Admiral in a sedan chair as they led his party over the rivers and mountains of enemy-occupied China. Escape from Hong Kong will appeal not just to military and other historians and those with a special interest in Hong Kong and China but also to anyone who appreciates a good old-fashioned adventure story. Tim Luard is a former Beijing correspondent for the BBC World Service.


Canton Elegy: A Father’s Letter of Sacrifice, Survival, and Enduring Love – by Howard Webster

Canton Elegy is a love story, an adventure, and an intimate portrait of one family’s struggle to survive. Stephen Jin-Nom Lee, his beautiful wife, Belle, and their four young children, braved famine, flood, corruption, and the devastation of war, on their journey to America.

Written so that his grandchildren might one day understand the quiet man who ran the local grocery store, Canton Elegy has all the action of a Hollywood blockbuster. From the 300-mile journey Belle and the children take on foot, to the night when Stephen stands at his window watching Canton burn, Canton Elegy describes events with an artist’s sensibility and a poet’s heart.


Gweilo: Memories Of A Hong Kong Childhood – by Martin Booth

Martin Booth died in February 2004, shortly after finishing the book that would be his epitaph – this wonderfully remembered, beautifully told memoir of a childhood lived to the full in a far-flung outpost of the British Empire…

An inquisitive seven-year-old, Martin Booth found himself with the whole of Hong Kong at his feet when his father was posted there in the early 1950s. Unrestricted by parental control and blessed with bright blond hair that signified good luck to the Chinese, he had free access to hidden corners of the colony normally closed to a Gweilo, a ‘pale fellow’ like him. Befriending rickshaw coolies and local stallholders, he learnt Cantonese, sampled delicacies such as boiled water beetles and one-hundred-year-old eggs, and participated in colourful festivals. He even entered the forbidden Kowloon Walled City, wandered into the secret lair of the Triads and visited an opium den. Along the way he encountered a colourful array of people, from the plink plonk man with his dancing monkey to Nagasaki Jim, a drunken child molester, and the Queen of Kowloon, the crazed tramp who may have been a member of the Romanov family.

Shadowed by the unhappiness of his warring parents, a broad-minded mother who, like her son, was keen to embrace all things Chinese, and a bigoted father who was enraged by his family’s interest in ‘going native’, Martin Booth’s compelling memoir is a journey into Chinese culture and an extinct colonial way of life that glows with infectious curiosity and humour.


Fragrant Harbour – by John Lanchester

 

‘It’s Hong Kong,’ she said. ‘Heung gong. Fragrant harbour.’

Fragrant Harbour is the story of four people whose intertwined lives span Asia’s last seventy years. Tom Stewart leaves England to seek his fortune, and finds it in running Hong Kong’s best hotel. Sister Maria is a beautiful and uncompromising Chinese nun whom Stewart meets on the boat. Dawn Stone is an English journalist who becomes the public face of money and power and big business. Matthew Ho is a young Chinese entrepreneur whose life has been shaped by painful choices made long before his birth.

The complacency of colonial life in the 1930s; the horrors of the Japanese occupation during the Second World War; the post-war boom and the handover of the city to the Chinese – all these are present in Fragrant Harbour, an epic novel of one of the world’s great cities.


East and West: China, Power and the Future of Asia – Christopher Patten

mn3xjQK0vwTBRFtKJsF0cZA

Few Western political figures can answer that question as well as Christopher Patten. For five years, Patten was the governor of Hong Kong, and as China prepared to reclaim its people and its land, he struggled to put in place democratic institutions that would ensure Hong Kong’s continued vitality.

In East and West, Patten draws on those struggles to give us an intimate portrait of the real Asia, in all its diversity, and to make a vital argument for the common interest of Eastern and Western powers. The result is a startling departure from the conventional wisdom about China, power, and the future of Asia.

Starting from his own experience as governor, his attempt to introduce democracy to Hong Kong, and his often difficult relationship with both Chinese and Western business and political interests, Patten addresses some of the most vital, and often confused, issues of the coming century.


King Hui: The man who owned all the opium in Hong Kong – Jonathan Chamberlain, David Tang

books

Scandal and corruption, drugs and pirates, triads and flower boats; the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong and the Communist takeover of Canton. Peter Hui was there. He knew everybody and saw everything. This is the real story of Hong Kong, told with the rich flavours of the street. If Peter had been only a little bit different he could have been an important man. But this is a riches to rags to riches to rags story. As we follow Peter’s life – his ups, his downs – we see in sharp focus what it was like to be a Chinese man in the British territory of Hong Kong through most of the years of the 20th century. And yet this book is not just one man’s tale. It is the story of a time and place – colonial Hong Kong, Portuguese Macau and the South China hinterland – seen from the unique point of view of a man who was at home at all levels of society. This is the bizarre story of a man who really did, for a very short time, once own all the opium in Hong Kong. If Suzie Wong had been a real person, Peter Hui would have known her.

“This is a true story but it reads like a novel. It is a cracking read.” – David Tang

# #