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 are creating 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 am Lindsay Varty - half-British and half-Macanese but wholly from Hong Kong! I have lived here my whole life and love the city that I call home. In true third-culture kid style, I grew up in a household of a mix of western and Chinese cultural values, and my parents always made a huge effort to get my brother and I interested in Hong Kong people and culture in particular. We often went to dai pai dong for meals, bought live seafood at local wet markets for dinners and learned about local customs from a young age. This insight and love for local culture inspired me to write about Hong Kong and encourage others to appreciate this city the way I do. I am a freelance journalist and author of books about Hong Kong.'
'Sunset Survivors is a coffee table book full of portrait photographs and interviews with some of Hong Kong's last remaining traditional craftsmen and women; everything from face threaders to knife sharpeners, bird cage makers and more. For me, these incredible artisans and their stories have contributed so much to Hong Kong identity, I wanted to share their life stories with readers.
Welly The Wild Boar is a children's book about Hong Kong Street food. It's an effort to share my love of Hong Kong with more children growing up in the city, in the hopes of encouraging them to learn to love local culture the same way I did when I was young, and also to support the remaining dai pai dong and hawker stalls. Hong Kong just wouldn't be the same without egg puffs, egg tarts and roasted chestnuts for example!'
My love for Hong Kong culture and cuisine! My parents wanted me to get to know 'The Real Hong Kong' when I was young. My books are a way of sharing that side of local culture and Hong Kong identity with more people who live in the city. The way I think is this: We only protect what we love and we only love what we understand. So the more we can understand and appreciate Hong Kong culture, the more we can hope to love and protect it in the future. That's what I hope to bring to my books and my readers.'
Favourite thing to do or see in Hong Kong
'I love when the weather starts to get chilly in Hong Kong and you see the roasted chestnut and sweet potato stalls pop up around the city. The smells fills the air and with a homely nostalgia that I love!'
And finally, very excitingly, Lindsay has just launched Sunset Survivors as a short film - you can watch it here. It's a wonderful, very visual depiction of the people and stories behind Hong Kong's traditional crafts that are soon going to fall into obscurity.
We asked her what her favourite part about making the book into a film was?
'Making Sunset Survivors into a film was a dream come true for me, made possible by my good friend and talented producer Justin Solomon. I spent 3 years interviewing all sorts of fascinating artisans in Hong Kong, who have seen their trades become increasingly irrelevant or under-appreciated over the years. Their ancient skills and practices had often been passed down for generations in their families, but had quickly been replaced by machines or new technology. I loved telling their stories in the book, but the film makes it possible for people to see them in action, to hear the emotion in their voices and watch how much effort goes into their work. So ultimately, I hope that people will have a greater understanding of what they have given to Hong Kong, and hopefully we can support them for a little longer too.'
You can find out more about Lindsay and her Sunset Survivor's book and tours here.