City Voices

Hong Kong Writing in English 1945 to the Present


Edited by Xu Xi and Mike Ingham, with a foreword by Louise Ho

ISBN : 978-962-209-604-2

Literary Studies

March 2003

420 pages, 6.25″ x 9.5″

  • HK$375.00
No longer available

Also available in Paperback HK$195.00

‘Hong Kong has a soul and this anthology proves it.’

City Voices has poignant, gorgeous, stunning, disturbing, exhilarating writing.’

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’. Together with work from established authors, both bilingual writers who choose to write in English and expatriate authors who have made Hong Kong their home, a section of ‘New Voices’ introduces the work of unknown and young writers who are part of today’s surge of new creativity.

Xu Xi, a Chinese-Indonesian native of Hong Kong, is one of Asia’s leading English-language writers. She is the author of five books: three novels—The Unwalled City (2001), Hong Kong Rose (1997) and Chinese Walls (1994)—and two short fiction collections—History’s Fiction (2001) and Daughters of Hui (1996). Her other published work includes stories, essays, op-ed’s, and book reviews. She is also the Hong Kong regional editor for Routledge’s Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literature in English (second edition). She publishes under her Chinese name, but earlier work appeared under her current and former English names, S. Komala and Chako respectively. Literary awards include a New York State Arts Foundation fiction fellowship and writer-in-residence at Kulturhuset USF of Bergen, Norway, the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando, Florida and the Anderson Center at Red Wing, Minnesota. She holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in fiction from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is on the MFA fiction faculty at Vermont College in Montpelier. Mike Ingham has BA and Master’s degrees in European Literature and Linguistics from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in English Drama and Literature from the University of Hong Kong. He has been teaching English Studies in the English Department at Lingnan University since 1999. Previously he worked for the Hong Kong Education Department at the Institute of Language in Education and subsequently the Hong Kong Institute of Education, as well as teaching on the first MA in East-West Theatre Studies in Hong Kong. Speech development, literature and drama in education are his areas of professional expertise. He is a founder member of Theatre Action, a Hong Kong-based drama group that specializes in action research on more literary drama texts.

“As the first anthology of Hong Kong prose and poetry written in English, City Voices is a groundbreaking collection that propels readers from the early writing of the 1950s through the creative surge of the 1990s into today. City Voices has poignant, gorgeous, stunning, disturbing, exhilarating writing and is cause for celebration.” —Arthur Sze, author of seven books of poetry, including The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970–1998

“This most necessary and wildly ambitious collection is as boisterous and packed with voices as a Hong Kong street. With an unruly grace, City Voices boldly asserts the rich variety and vitality of the city’s literary production, past and present. What a delight to find within these covers not only some old favorites but so many new, exciting writers and poets, whose contributions will leave the reader longing for more.” —David Wong Louie, author of The Barbarians Are Coming and Pangs of Love

“This anthology, containing selections from Hong Kong writers both famous and newly discovered, lays the soul of Hong Kong bare. In writings by turn humorous or dark, we get a look at the secret life of what is arguably the world’s most interesting and cosmopolitan city. If you thought Hong Kong was a city devoted only to making money, shopping, and eating well, City Voices will open your eyes and put you in the presence of a scintillating literary community. Hong Kong has a soul and this anthology proves it.” —Robert H. Abel, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the author of Riding a Tiger

“What shape will Hong Kong literature take in the hands of Mother China? This seminal anthology of Hong Kong literature in English hints at myriad possibilities: the city becoming more Chinese and less British, or mainland China becoming more Hong Kong, or perhaps an explosion of multi-cultural sensibilities in this theatre of the South China Sea? While the upcoming acts of history might tickle our exotic imaginings, it is worthwhile to see how this was all staged to begin with. Here is an anthology brilliantly collected by two who are themselves literary pioneers, Xu Xi and Mike Ingham, of work originally composed in English, or if not, self-translated to English—perfect for those of us who question the authenticity of translation—an anthology that offers a multi-genre vision from writers who live there or have lived there, writers who are all active observers and participants in Hong Kong’s march through history.” —Bino A. Realuyo, editor and author, The Umbrella Country