Hong Kong

Nonfiction

East and West, Christopher Patten, 1999
The last British colonial governor relates the time up until the 1997 handover to China.

Hong Kong, Jan Morris, 1997
Strong on colonial history and style, this book does falter on the street’s Cantonese beat.

Gweilo, Martin Booth, 2005
The author recalls his experience of growing up as a blond-haired British lad in a Chinese community.

Fiction

The World of Suzie Wong, Richard Mason, 1958
The original and best HK novel about the famous prostitute with a heart of gold.

Noble House, James Clavell, 1986
This HK-set rollercoaster yarn – and great airplane read – is peopled by a tattooed group including a canny Brit trader, a smooth American capitalist, a slinky Chinese babe and a Communist spy.

The Monkey King, Timothy Mo, 2000
A hilariously funny novel of family dysfunction set in 1950’s Hong Kong.

Thousand Pieces of Gold, Ruthanne Lum McCunn, 1983
After famine hits her hometown in northern China, Lalu is sent to America in this heart-wrenching tale of slavery, misogyny, adventure and romance.

Film

In the Mood for Love, Wong Kar-Wai, 2000
This moody and heartbreaking film traces themes of temptation, betrayal and love. This film stars an excellent Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Maggie Cheung, both longtime players in this brilliant director’s oeuvre.

Chungking Express, Wong Kar-Wai, 1994
Nominally about a pair of love-struck policemen, this film’s visual poetry and narrative audacity transformed the shy hipster director into an international darling.

Infernal Affairs, Wai Keung Lau & Su Fai Mak, 2002
A gripping, authentic cop drama that is way better than Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hollywood remake, The Departed.

Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, Henry King, 1955 —
This movie shows how Hong Kong looked before high rises – and smog! William Holden and Jennifer Jones play the star-crossed lovers in this famed Oscar-winner.

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