Hong Kong
Photo by A. http://www.viajar24h.com used under a Creative Commons license.

Martin Booth, Gweilo (Bantam Books, 2005).
Martin Booth was seven-years old when his family moved from England to Hong Kong, where his father had a civil service job; the year was 1952. This is a memoir of his three years there, and I can only hope my recollections are as vivid as his when I am his age. His father and mother were locked in an unhappy marriage, and sometimes it seems that Martin turned toward Hong Kong to get away from their troubles. Hong Kong is a different place now, seemingly separated at by far more than five decades, so read this for a hint of what was. Published in the United States under the title, Golden Child (Picador, 2006) (but I bought my copy in Hong Kong).

Google Book Search has a preview. Booth wrote the book after a diagnosis of untreatable brain cancer; here is his obituary in The Guardian. Donald Morrison reviewed it for Time. Sophie Harrison reviewed it for The New York Times. Matthew says Gweilo reaches to his heart and calls it a great travel companion. I think this is another Matthew. Chris was expecting something different. Julie calls it sad and enchanting. Barbara Piscitelli says it’s one of the best books she read in Hong Kong. Eva calls it a compelling memoir.  Simon says Booth’s nostalgia translates well. Here is katybutler.  Jessica calls it an excellent story.  Here is Bookmarks Magazine.

Buy it at Amazon.com.

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