Books

Natalie Chung Sum-yue, the co-founder of V’Air Hong Kong, an environmental education organisation. Photo: Natalie Chung Sum-yue
How Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything influenced this educator

The Canadian author’s book about climate change and capitalism had a profound impact on environmenatla educator Natalie Chung’s thinking, she tells Richard Lord.

18 Jan 2022 - 7:45PM
Eco tourists photographing curious Polar bear (Ursus maritimus / Thalarctos maritimus) from ship, Svalbard / Spitsbergen, Norway. (Photo by: Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
exclusive | Award-winning Chinese sci-fi author’s new short story on climate change

The Girl and the Sea by Chen Qiufan, translated by Shelly Bryant and exclusively in Post Magazine, tells of a mysterious girl on board a research ship embedded in Arctic sea ice.

16 Jan 2022 - 4:15PM
Peregrine falcons transfer food to one another over Los Angeles. Watching these raptors dive through the air at 350km/h would leave anyone awestruck, but awe of nature is something many city dwellers have lost. Photo: Getty Images
Why we need to rediscover a sense of wonder at nature before all is lost

You can’t put a price on the awe that natures evokes, and it is that which is our most valuable asset in the battle to rescue the planet’s biodiversity.

15 Jan 2022 - 7:45PM
A hutong in Beijing. Liu Xinwu sets his 1984 novel The Wedding Party in one such alleyway community, and beneath his descriptions of mundane events and interactions swirl resentments and trauma. Photo: Getty Images
The Wedding Party immerses you in Beijing hutong life and in history

The apparent nostalgia for a more ‘authentic’, communal way of life in Liu Xinwu’s award-winning 1984 novel, newly translated, belies its insightful social commentary.

9 Jan 2022 - 4:45PM
Sue Lynn Tan, author of Daughter Of The Moon Goddess.
First-time novelist on reimagining Chinese myth and reaching for a dream

In Daughter of the Moon Goddess, Sue Lynn Tan imagines the goddess Chang’e has a daughter, Silver Star. She talks about the long road to publication of her first novel, and how Hong Kong inspires her writing.

8 Jan 2022 - 7:15PM
Walking in Seoul, South Korea: Photo: Getty Images
Review | Korean novel about young gay love suffers from its soap-operatic tone

Sang Young Park’s bestselling Love in the Big City, about a young gay man who struggles to form serious relationships, would have benefited from having a less haphazard narrative and a less petulant narrator.

1 Jan 2022 - 4:15PM
James Fox says goodbye to Judy Davis in a still from A Passage To India. Photo: Columbia Pictures/ Getty Images
How A Passage to India changed arts academy director Gillian Choa’s life

When she read E.M. Forster’s novel at school, Choa, already a fan of 1920s fashion and literature, was drawn to the tale of racism and class tension in colonial India.

30 Dec 2021 - 7:45PM
Prisoners of war at St. Stephen’s College in Hong Kong, which was used by Japanese troops as an internment camp for British soldiers during World War II. Publications of POWs’ memoirs, once widespread, dwindled as people went on with their renewed peacetime lives.
Then & Now | From stories of war to settling scores: memoirs in Hong Kong

World War II-themed memoirs and stories of colonial life have given way to accounts from policemen and those clearly written in response to earlier works to ‘set the record straight’.

30 Dec 2021 - 10:45AM
Pieces of the wreckage of an Ethiopia Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft near Bishoftu, Ethiopia, March 13, 2019. Journalist Peter Robison marks the fall of Boeing in his book, Flying Blind. Photo: EPA
Review | How decades of deskilling at Boeing doomed two 737 MAX flights

Decades before two Boeing 737 MAX airliners crashed in 2018 and 2019 the fall of the US plane maker had been set in train, and with it an increasingly wilful blindness to safety, writes aviation journalist Peter Robison.

18 Dec 2021 - 7:45PM
Hong Kong Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet. Were it not for a messenger’s stint in quarantine, Shakespeare’s play could have ended a lot more happily. Photo: Keith Hiro (HKG)
Quarantine killed Romeo and Juliet: Covid-19 shines new light on old stories

From Shakespeare to C.S. Lewis, one reader discovered that despite avoiding any novel that shaped his experience of the pandemic, his experience was shaping the novels he was reading.

12 Dec 2021 - 4:15PM
A pig stands in a shed of a pig farm in Brandenburg, Germany. Photo: EPA-EFE
The grisly truth about factory farming, and the vegan alternative

At a conservative estimate humankind slaughters 150 million sentient animals a day for food, their lives made miserable by unspeakable cruelty, writes Roanne van Voorst as she bangs the drum for a vegan diet.

11 Dec 2021 - 7:45PM
Jon Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air has had a big effect on co-founder of Hong Kong craft beer brand Double Haven and Dragon Water alcoholic seltzer,Scott Powrie. Photo: Scott Powrie
What Everest disaster book Into Thin Air taught a craft beer maker

A storm on Mount Everest killed eight people in 1996, and Into Thin Air is a first-hand account that inspired Hong Kong-based Scott Powrie to climb higher.

6 Dec 2021 - 1:15PM
Xueting Christine Ni has translated 13 Chinese science fiction short stories for her new book. “There is now a mushrooming, an explosion of Chinese science fiction,” she says.
Next-gen Chinese science fiction writers celebrated in translation

A zombie apocalypse story, migrants from Mars, AI-human interaction – the diversity of Chinese science fiction writing new and old is celebrated in a volume of translated short stories.

8 Dec 2021 - 11:43AM
A man holds a sign professing his love for Cantonese at a rally in Hong Kong against the promotion of Putonghua, the northern tongue adopted in China as the national language. Photo: AFP
Review | Will Cantonese go the way of Welsh and Hawaiian languages?

Putonghua - the common tongue of northern Chinese - established a ‘dictatorship’ in China under Communist rule, writes James Griffiths, threatening Cantonese with the same fate as other suppressed languages.

4 Dec 2021 - 4:15PM
Former US president Donald Trump at a recent rally. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
‘I wanted to say villains don’t exist ... But then I got to Trump’

An American academic, in a new book, warns of the dangers of manipulation-by-story. Empathy is the answer, he says, yet he can’t show any for Donald Trump.

28 Nov 2021 - 7:45PM
A watercolour painting shows the reception of Lord Macartney by the Qianlong emperor in 1793; the British peer’s interpreters found themselves in danger as a result of the mission and a subsequent one. Photo: The British Museum
Review | When translating Chinese into English could be dangerous

Interpreting for Britain’s Lord Macartney on his ill-fated 1793 embassy to China made Chinese priest Li Zibiao a marked man in the country for the rest of his life.

26 Nov 2021 - 7:45PM
Clinical psychologist Jamie Chiu believes that literary classic, The Catcher in the Rye, gave her a better insight into what teenagers are going through. Photo: courtesy of Jamie Chiu Chin-mee
How The Catcher in the Rye taught a clinical psychologist empathy

Clinical psychologist Jamie Chiu works with teenagers and the literary classic helps her to better understand the struggles they face on a daily basis.

24 Nov 2021 - 6:15PM
Tim Hannigan, author of Travel Writing Tribe: Journeys in Search of a Genre.
Review | What is travel writing, author asks, yet he doesn’t talk to Bill Bryson

Tim Hannigan so wanted to be a travel writer he would ape their prose as a young man. He appears still to be at it in his supposedly critical examination of the travel writing genre and its authors.

21 Nov 2021 - 9:15PM
The award-winning translator of Chinese literature Eric Abrahamsen (pictured here in Beijing) talks to Thomas Bird. Photo: SCMP
Profile | How an American translator pretended to be Chinese for a year online

Eric Abrahamsen, award-winning translator of Chinese literature, tells Thomas Bird what ignited his interest in China and what persuaded him to return to his Washington state home in the US.

22 Nov 2021 - 1:47PM
Actor Keanu Reeves in Hong Kong in 2005. Photo: Reuters
‘Keanu Reeves was all we had’: growing up Asian and queer in Australia

Identity was on Shelley Parker-Chan’s mind growing up, and it looms large in her brilliant debut novel, She Who Became The Sun. Set in 14th century China, it’s a love letter to Chinese television dramas.

20 Nov 2021 - 1:53PM