Musings: Reading Hong Hong, China and the World (Muse books) by Leo Ou-fan Lee

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Book review

"Well-informed local knowledge, sharp literary sensitivity, and scholarly critical insight ... the wisdom of a thoughtful and insightful author." - The China Journal

“Lee’s perpective is modern, cosmopolitan and wholistic. He deciphers literature from Hong Kong, China and the West, not only exploring the texts, but helping his audience understand and interpret them – to “re-read” them – based on creative process and historical context.” - Yazhou Zhoukan (Asia Weekly magazine)

“engagingly written …offers not only a self-proclaimed Chinese cosmopolitan’s view on contemporary local and world literature, but also insights into the cultural and literary scene …of interest to readers worldwide who want to understand Hong Kong culture.” - South China Morning Post

Leo Lee Ou-fan is Emeritus Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University and Sin Wai Kin Professor of Chinese Culture at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Apart from his academic work, he has been an active participant in the Hong Kong cultural scene, having published in the past decade nearly 20 books of cultural criticism in both Chinese and English. Among his acclaimed scholarly books are Shanghai Modern: The Flowering of a New Urban Culture in China, 1930 - 1945; Voices from the Iron House: A Study of Lu Xun; and The Romantic Generation of Modern Chinese Writers.

In Musings: Reading Hong Kong, China and the World, Lee brings intellectual breadth and depth to his discussion of literary and cultural trends Greater China. These collected essays highlight the strands of cosmopolitanism in Chinese literary culture during the postwar period—particularly as represented by the city of Hong Kong and by Chinese writers in exile. Lee writes authoritatively about Hong Kong identity; about worldly Chinese intellectuals like Eileen Chang, Ha Jin, Gao Xingjian and Lung Yingtai; and draws parallels between these Chinese cosmopolitans and cultural streams represented by writers ranging from George Orwell and Kafka to Kenzaburo Oe.


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