A superbly thorough review of Leo Ou-fan Lee's City Between Worlds: My Hong Kong in PopMatters today. Michael Buening hits all the right notes in his characterization of Lee's approach to his adopted hometown, a city whose myriad identities require an equal variety of analytic techniques if one is to even come close to capturing what it's like to be in Hong Kong, or to be a Hong Konger:
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.
The very writing of this book is another way Lee gives voice and creation to “his” Hong Kong. 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.
We couldn't have said it better ourselves. As an added bonus, don't miss Leo speaking about his book at the Harvard Coop this coming Monday (June 23) at 7pm. The Coop is located in the heart of Harvard Square--it's pretty hard to miss. Hope to see you there.