Surviving Central, a collection of short stories (in Chinese) by Prof Mary Wong Shuk-han of Department of Chinese, has been elected one of Secondary Students’ Best 10 Books 2013/14 co-organised by Hong Kong Public Libraries, Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union.
Recalling the inspirations for her short stories, Prof Wong said, “I had lived in Central for five years around 1997. I was writing my thesis in a small flat on the top floor of an old, multi-storey building that had no lift. The apartment was small, but it was good enough to offer an anxious PhD student warm protection. In those days, the zigzag paths stretching through Central formed the circle of my life. I like the complicated patterns of lanes and alleys, which helped me grow up in the process of finding my way, and led me into the ambiguous hearts of the people. The eight stories of Surviving Central, such as “Tailor-made”, “The Taste of Water”, “Passers-by on Mud Street” and “Sung Kam-sin on Ladder Street” tell how a group of young men and women grow up in the heart of Hong Kong. Some of them choose to leave, some are determined to fight on, while some others continue to search…. Reading their stories may enable fast-paced city dwellers like us to slow down a bit, take a deep breath, and carry on with our journey.”