Hong Kong
in Asia in Western fiction
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Hong Kong, 'Fragrant Harbour' of the Chinese, has always exerted a fascination for Westerners as an outpost of empire. 'Dolly' (Leonard D'Oliver), in Paul the Pretender: Romance of Hong Kong chronicled the empty lives and loves of young Europeans in Hong Kong at the turn of the twentieth century. Most contemporary Hong Kong fiction reinforced these impressions. The Painted Veil, written following a visit to Hong Kong and China by that paragon of story-tellers, Somerset Maugham, suited the escapist mood of the time. James Allan Ford's The Brave White Flag presented a contrasting but grimly authentic view of the fall of Hong Kong. The resurgence of Hong Kong after the Second World War and the upheaval in China culminating in the 'Liberation' in 1949, which sent refugees streaming across the border, inspired a new breed of writers. Notable among these were Han Suyin; and Austin Coates.


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