As a group of avid readers in the LRP team we are very happy to have recently expanded our book offering online and in the showroom. We knew you would be interested in finding out more about some of the wonderful authors and illustrators who have created the ones we've selected. All books have a Hong Kong theme whether it be written or illustrated by someone who lives here or is about the city, the stories and the history of the place so many of us call home. We have created a series of Ask The Author blog posts where we ask the same three questions (with an added bonus one at the end!) to find out more about their connection to the city, what their book is all about, what inspires them and their favourite things to see and do in the 852.
I’m Angie, an American transplant to Hong Kong. I moved here in 2005, and quickly grew to love this fast-paced and diverse city. I was raised in a small, ethnically homogenous town in the United States, so there were many adjustments to make as I made my home in this Asian metropolis. My education and career are in the field of music, and I’m a music director in a local church.
I’ve always enjoyed traveling, reading, and writing, so when I moved to Hong Kong, I started writing a bit now and then. Over the years, I recorded my experiences in a blog or newsletters to people back home in the US. When the pandemic hit, I had time to pull these autobiographical pieces together in the form of a book.
“So… This is Hong Kong: Adventures of an American Who Moved East” gives a brief introduction to the city for readers who have never visited, but the majority of it focuses on my everyday experiences. I’ve written about my language blunders, learning to navigate local transport, my first hospital stay, my avoidance of durian, and my battle against a resident gecko. As a clueless foreigner, daily excursions can quickly become fodder for comedy. The tone of the book is generally light, and it’s divided into short chapters that could be read in any order.
Upon moving to Hong Kong, I immediately noticed aspects of paradox: Eastern and Western culture existing side-by-side, new technology and ancient wisdom, high-density urban streets surrounded by untamed lush mountains, a fusion of traditional and modern, a mix of languages and ethnicities. A place of opposites. This fascinated me.
I genuinely believe this is a one-of-a-kind city, in the sense that diversity flourishes and cultures mingle, creating an entirely new ethos that is uniquely Hong Kong. I wanted to capture this spirit in writing and help others see why I love this place so much.
As an expat, there has been no shortage of opportunities for me to make a fool of myself, and I realized these “fish out of water” accounts are universally understood by anyone who has relocated to a different community or country. I think my book appeals to a wide audience: Westerners living in Hong Kong, expats anywhere in the world, people who enjoy cross-cultural experiences, and even armchair travelers who have never set foot in Hong Kong. Everyone can enjoy a chuckle at the lunatic who points to the stormy sky thinking she’s saying “rain” in Cantonese but is actually saying “Coca-Cola.”
Above all, I wanted to offer readers the chance to laugh and find humor in daily life. The world in which we live is stressful and overwhelming, and it helps to see the comedy. (Also, a special thanks and shout-out to the young artist, Isabelle Li, who brilliantly captured the quirkiness of my writing and the spirit of Hong Kong with her cover illustrations.)
Favorite thing to do or see in Hong Kong
It’s hard to choose one favorite aspect of Hong Kong… I love hiking and going for walks, eating at different restaurants, visiting lesser-known tourist sites, meeting people from all over the world, taking photos of the city. I especially enjoy staring out at the lights of Victoria Harbour at night or peering up at Lion Rock Mountain in the afternoon sunshine; those are two views I’ll never, ever get tired of seeing.
Hong Kong is like an onion—there are so many layers to this city, and I can’t possibly know all there is to know. Even after living here for many years, I frequently find out about a neighborhood I never knew existed or hear something new about the culture. There is always so much more I want to learn and experience.