My 1990 Hong Kong retrospective wouldn’t be complete without a book review. While I didn’t read Jan Morris’s Hong Kong (Vintage, 1997) this week, I did read an earlier version back in 1990.
For anyone who’s been to Hong Kong or who wants to learn more about it, Morris’s Hong Kong is a must-read.
She writes about many of the things true to my heart: history, architecture, displaced people, and the future of the territory.
This book was on a reading list when I first arrived in Hong Kong, so many of the Americans on my program read it that year. Then in 1997, Morris added an update on the upcoming handover, so I re-read the book then.
I spent a lot of time reading for fun when I should have been studying for exams, especially during my first year in Hong Kong. Besides Hong Kong, I remember reading that year Sterling Seagrave’s The Soong Dynasty (Harper Perennial, 1986) and A Cambodian Odyssey by Haing Ngor (Scribner, 1988), along with a few James Clavell novels like Noble House and King Rat.