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Best Books About Hong Kong

Capture the dynamic spirit of Hong Kong with these standout books. As frequent features in cultural and travel book roundups, these titles provide unique perspectives on Hong Kong's history, landscapes, and bustling urban life.

Recommendations from 16 articles.
28 books on the list
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Gweilo book cover
Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood
Martin Booth - 2005-09-06 (first published in 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the vibrant and fascinating world of colonial Hong Kong through the eyes of a curious seven-year-old. Befriend locals, sample exotic delicacies, and uncover hidden secrets in this beautifully written memoir. Despite the shadow of family unhappiness and cultural conflict, the author's infectious curiosity and humor radiate throughout the book, making it a captivating read for anyone interested in Chinese culture and history.
Tai-Pan book cover
James Clavell - 2009-09-01 (first published in 1966)
Goodreads Rating
Enter into the world of Far East trading with this complex tale of ambition, political intrigue, love and lust. As the Tai-Pan of the world's largest trading company, Dirk Struan is plagued by enemies, particularly his rival Tyler Brock. Their opium-smuggling past is still causing trouble, and even as they control England's trade with China, their mutual desires and hatred threaten to tear everything apart. With a richly detailed and engrossing plot, this epic historical fiction novel is packed with action, blood, sin, treachery, conspiracy, sex, and murder.
A Modern History of Hong Kong book cover
A Modern History of Hong Kong
Steve Tsang - 2007-08-15 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the captivating story of how a remote cluster of fishing villages became an emblem of capitalism in A Modern History of Hong Kong. From its founding as the Crown Colony after the First Anglo-Chinese war, to its transformation into a major naval station for the British Empire, this book explores how Hong Kong became a global powerhouse for investment, shipping, banking, and finance. But perhaps the most significant moment in its history was its return to China in 1997, marking a major shift and fascinating intersection between capitalism and communism.
The Piano Teacher book cover
The Piano Teacher
A Novel
Janice Y. K. Lee - 2009-01-13
Goodreads Rating
Explore the rich tapestry of exotic Hong Kong in this sumptuous novel set in the 1940s and '50s. Follow a group of foreign nationals who enjoy the good life among the local wealthy elites in a social enclave distanced from the culture at large, until their lives are dramatically altered by the Japanese occupation. Enter Claire Pendleton, a piano teacher from London, who finds herself taken in by the mysterious Will Truesdale. This intricately woven tale of unforgettable characters and historical events is a must-read.
The Honourable Schoolboy book cover
The Honourable Schoolboy
John le Carré - 2002-10-29 (first published in 1977)
Goodreads Rating
An international espionage novel that follows George Smiley, a British secret service agent, as he attempts to restore the Circus's health and reputation. Smiley dispatches his own handpicked operative, Jerry Westerby, to the Far East, a region known for its testing ground of patriotic allegiances, to take down the infiltrating Soviet double agent in this classic masterwork of a secret world.
Love in a Fallen City book cover
Love in a Fallen City
Eileen Chang - 2006-10-10 (first published in 1943)
Goodreads Rating
Experience the stunning work of Eileen Chang, one of China's greatest writers of the twentieth century. Love, longing, and the complexities of family are at the heart of Chang's short fiction, which are a must-read for fans of Chinese literature. Written in her twenties, these stories combine contemporary themes with an intense lyricism that echoes classics of the genre. Love in a Fallen City is the perfect introduction to the work of this modern master, showcasing her dazzling literary talent.
A Many-Splendored Thing book cover
A Many-Splendored Thing
Suyin Han - 1956-01-01 (first published in 1952)
Goodreads Rating
This captivating novel tells the story of a British correspondent who falls in love with a Eurasian doctor in Hong Kong, only to face prejudice from society and her family. The book delves into the historical perspectives of China and Hong Kong, including the aftermath of the Chinese Civil War and people escaping to Hong Kong. With its insight into class and race prejudices, this novel remains relevant today. Written by Han Suyin, the book is strongly autobiographical, offering a glimpse into the author's personal life and experiences.
Kowloon Tong book cover
Kowloon Tong
A Novel of Hong Kong
Paul Theroux - 1998-07-06 (first published in 1997)
Goodreads Rating
As the British prepare to hand over Hong Kong to China, a family business faces a dangerous offer from a mysterious mainland Chinese man. When a young employee goes missing, the son must make crucial decisions that pit his intentions against the will of the powerful Mr. Hung. Discover a tale of intrigue and betrayal in this page-turning novel.
Noble House book cover
Noble House
James Clavell - 1986-09-01 (first published in 1981)
Goodreads Rating
Experience a week of high adventure in Hong Kong in this book, filled with kidnapping, murder, financial double-dealing, and natural disasters like fire, flood, and landslide. Discover the mystery and romance of Asia's heart, with its abundance of trade in money, flesh, opium, and power.
Hong Kong book cover
Hong Kong
Jan Morris - 1997-02-04 (first published in 1988)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the stunning city of Hong Kong through the eyes of one of the greatest travel writers of all time. With fascinating insights into its people, politics, and culture, this book offers a glimpse into both the city's rich history and its promising future. Includes 8 pages of photos and 2 maps to enhance your journey.
Fragrant Harbor by John Lanchester
The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee
Diamond Hill by Kit Fan
White Ghost Girls by Alice Greenway
THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG - ON STAGE by Richard (Based On the Novel By) Mason
The Borrowed by Chan Ho-Kei
Second Sister by Chan Ho-Kei
The Language of Threads by Gail Tsukiyama
For the Love of Hong Kong by Hana Meihan Davis
Umbrellas in Bloom by Jason yNg
The Last Governor by Jonathan Dimbleby
Lonely Planet Hong Kong by Lonely Planet
No City for Slow Men by Jason Y. Ng
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
The Water Rat of Wanchai by Ian Hamilton
The Monkey King by Timothy Mo
Hong Kong Noir by Feng Chi-Shun
Fortune's Bazaar by Vaudine England