East and West
by Chris Patten
Part memoir and part sermon, East and West is Chris Patten's book about his years as the Last Governor of Hong Kong ("a title invariably given capital letters to denote its historic significance", he muses). Published in 1998, Patten gives a frank and candid account of his experiences and the tortuous diplomatic maneuvering in the final years before the handover of Hong Kong to China, after more than 150 years of British rule. His sharp analysis, vivid descriptions and lively first-person anecdotes make East and West an intriguing read for anyone interested in Hong Kong and in China.
Gweilo: Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood
by Martin Booth
Evocative and beautifully written, Martin Booth describes his childhood growing up in Hong Kong in the 1950s, and his journey into Chinese culture. Roaming the streets of a strange city as a young and inquisitive English boy, filled with an enormous curiosity about the exotic and colorful world around him, his adventure takes him to the secret headquarters of a triad and the secret lairs of the opium dens. The infectious curiosity from a child's perspective artfully captures the thoughts and experiences of a new arrival navigating the hazards of a foreign country and culture, while also tackling the difficulties of growing up in an unhappy home. A compelling memoir that is both a journey into Hong Kong's past and the extinct colonial way of life.
Myself, a Mandarin
By Austin Coates
This well written book is composed of anecdotes and experiences of the author who served as a Special Magistrate in the New Territories in the 1950's. The author, with much sensitivity, highlights his difficulty in understanding and dealing with the rural Cantonese mindset in the discharge of his duties. This book, which is in scarce supply, is considered to be a must read for anyone planning to live and work in Hong Kong.