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City Between Worlds
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About the Author

Leo Ou-fan Lee, a native of China, is Professor Emeritus of Chinese Literature at Harvard University and currently Professor of Humanities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Reviews

A rich and fascinating introduction to the life and cultural history of Hong Kong, "City Between Worlds" will add considerable depth, excitement, and, dare I say, glamour to the material available to readers interested in learning something about Hong Kong beyond a guide to the usual tourist traps. Leo Lee draws on his knowledge of Hong Kong's literary, film, and popular culture, along with his personal experiences, to make these places imaginatively inhabited by the past, and by a people who continue to draw on the city's multifaceted history.--Meaghan Morris, Professor Of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University (Hong Kong)
Anecdotes and vignettes pepper Lee s book. Yet this is no elegiac history of a colony-that-was; rather, his gentle, personal musings read more like a declaration of love for a city full of contradictions...Lee takes the reader on a ramble through Hong Kong, starting at Pedder Street and ending in the New Territories. His stance is that of the flaneur chronicling the life of a beloved city.--Didi Kirsten Tatlow"South China Morning Post" (05/11/2008)
Uncertainty and transience is part of [Hong Kong s] character and in "City Between Worlds" Leo Ou-fan Lee uses a variety of techniques--travelogue, revisionist history, cultural deconstruction, and personal essay--to pin down what he calls this confusion and contradiction while uncovering the deep communal roots that often go unnoticed by outside commentators..."City Between Worlds" balances probing intellectual analysis, fierce criticism, and gentle warmth, all imbued with the frustrated love any city dweller will immediately recognize as the elusive grasp to define where one lives.--Michael Buening"PopMatters" (06/20/2008)
[An] excellent book about the island city...Lee knows and loves this place, which translates as "fragrant harbor." He takes the reader through the streets and explains the history, the culture and the sociological significance of the city. Travelers wanting to discover the essence of Hong Kong will find this rich and well-written book better than any conventional guide.--Bruce Elder"Sydney Morning Herald" (07/04/2009)
[Lee's] observations, illuminated by his insightful readings of Shanghai as well as his experiences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, also draw intelligent connections between society and urban form and literature and film, including both local and foreign observers...An extremely well-illustrated volume.--G. W. McDonogh"Choice" (03/01/2009)
Anecdotes and vignettes pepper Lee's book. Yet this is no elegiac history of a colony-that-was; rather, his gentle, personal musings read more like a declaration of love for a city full of contradictions...Lee takes the reader on a ramble through Hong Kong, starting at Pedder Street and ending in the New Territories. His stance is that of the flaneur chronicling the life of a beloved city.--Didi Kirsten Tatlow"South China Morning Post" (05/11/2008)
Assuming the double-identity of archaeologue and flaneur, Mr. Lee mixes a wealth of allusions and historical research with an intimate understanding of Hong Kong's lived culture and recent political developments. The resulting peripatetic narrative takes a freely interpretive look at the city's past and culture, as the reader follows Mr. Lee's explications across Hong Kong's map, from old red-light Wan Chai to modern-day Central Business District and Tsim Sha Tsui. Refreshingly, Mr. Lee focuses on "local" Hong Kong...It would be the greatest testament to Mr. Lee's loving, rigorous reflection on his adopted home, if in another 10 years he is forced to write a new book to answer the questions that face a Hong Kong taking the first step down the road to self rule.--Paul Mozur"Far Eastern Economic Review" (01/01/2009)
This sparkling and sometimes profound work is a guidebook in the best sense. As Lee glides up the world's longest escalator in central Hong Kong, he says something interesting at every stage...This is a genuinely felt, well-informed book.--Jonathan Mirsky"Times Literary Supplement" (01/09/2009)
Uncertainty and transience is part of [Hong Kong's] character and in "City Between Worlds" Leo Ou-fan Lee uses a variety of techniques--travelogue, revisionist history, cultural deconstruction, and personal essay--to pin down what he calls this "confusion and contradiction" while uncovering the deep communal roots that often go unnoticed by outside commentators..."City Between Worlds" balances probing intellectual analysis, fierce criticism, and gentle warmth, all imbued with the frustrated love any city dweller will immediately recognize as the elusive grasp to define where one lives.--Michael Buening"PopMatters" (06/20/2008)
A decade after it was handed back by the British to the Chinese, Hong Kong continues to occupy a unique space where China and the West appear to come together rather seamlessly. In this book, Leo Ou-fan Lee goes in search of the "real" Hong Kong and reveals a remarkable city and its multiple identities--the indigenous, the colonial, the modern. A must read for anyone planning to visit and explore this multifaceted city.

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