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City Voices

Hong Kong Writing in English 1945 to the Present

Michael Ingham ,Xu Xi

Publication Year: 2003

City Voices is the first showcase of postwar Hong Kong literature originating in English. Fiction, poetry, essays and memoirs from more than 70 authors are featured to demonstrate 'the rich variety and vitality of the city's literary production'.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. v-xii

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pp. xiii-xiv

At a literary conference held in Downing College, Cambridge, in 1999, Salman Rushdie held forth expansively on cosmpolitanism, speaking very much as a cosmopolitan himself. Following on from him spoke a well-respected Welsh poet who claimed 'the local' versus 'the global' as his fortified ground, saying, I am very conscious of being aboriginal' Being Welsh, he would be so privileged! I felt very envious of his staunch avowal of his sense of belonging. ...


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p. xv-xv

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Writing on the Margin: Hong Kong English Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction

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pp. 1-16

As recently as the late 1980s the new Head of English at the University of Hong Kong, former Oxford linguist Roy Harris, infamously referred to Hong Kong English as 'the worst in the world' in his provocative inaugural lecture. Whether his more affectionately remembered predecessor, the prolific Oxford poet Edmund Blunden, would have subscribed to Harris's view is a matter of speculation. However, given Blunden's reputation for nurturing Hong Kong ...

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From and of the City of Hong Kong

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pp. 17-26

When I first proposed compiling this dungsai,l it was partly because disparate voices were squawking — like so many surly teenagers — in an unruly and chaotic chorus. Was it the 'great' or 'meagre' Hong Kong story we were telling in our various genres? We were all accidents that happened upon this former British colony on whom the Muse, or some lesser goddess, foisted her imperative, in English to boot, and made us what we are. ...


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pp. 28-97

Seldom is there such close proximity of squalor and wealth, misery and ostentation. Here, within sight, sound and smell of each other, rich man and poor man live, intimate neighbors and brother refugees. There are two kinds of street in Hong Kong. The smooth level main streets parallel to the shore, lined with shops, crowded with the newest cars; and the narrow, staircased climbing streets which cut across them. In the large level...

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pp. 98-203

"I shall eat you," declared the thrush to the snail. "I shall take you in my beak to the nearest stone and there I shall smash your shell and swallow you whole, saving just a little for my children, perhaps. But that depends on whether you are fat enough. My children shall have what I do not want. Afterwards I shall fly to the top-most branch of that ashtree and sing. I sing all the better on a full stomach, you...

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pp. 204-220

Chen looked like he was about to burst into tears. "Three of my clients are in the throes of messy divorces," he said, sniffing. "And two others have this week started trial separations." He dabbed his eyes with his handkerchief. "I'm SOOO happy," he exclaimed, emotionally. You think Chen is a divorce lawyer, right? Or a solicitor's tout? Well, he is not. He is a property agent. He rents out flats at exorbitant prices and takes a fat percentage. ...

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pp. 221-238

In the district I had to conduct many negotiations with Chinese people — commercial negotiations, usually involving land, and political negotiations, some with communist organizations; others — more complicated — were with local power groups. Some of these negotiations were by no means easy, and had it not proved possible to bring them to agreeable conclusions, some of them would...


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pp. 239-348


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pp. 350-384

Michael's infectious enthusiasm for tuition has had little effect on Peter. After Michael told him it was that simple, Peter promised to check it out, left the flat, checked into the Jump, checked out with Clive and, as it was Halloween, checked into the old colonial building that everyone wants to buy. I now know one of the reasons it hasn't been bought yet. It was a lunatic asylum prior to the Second World War


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pp. 385-394

References for Selections

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pp. 395-402

E-ISBN-13: 9789882200739
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622096042

Page Count: 420
Publication Year: 2003

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Hong Kong (China) -- Literary collections.
  • English literature -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • English literature -- Chinese authors.
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