Wednesday, July 18, 2007

bbc novel 'Sweet Mandarin' reaches Hong Kong

In a sense, the bbc story as told in Helen Tse's book 'Sweet Mandarin has come full circle, since readers in Hong Kong will now be able to read about the bbc experience.

For Eric and Mabel Tse, seeing their three ambitious, aspirational and professional daughters being drawn back to the very trade they had worked so hard to escape was a recipe for disaster. But for 29-year-old tax lawyer Helen, this was not just a business enterprise. It was a gesture of gratitude to an extraordinary family history that included brutal murder, ruinous gambling, triads and 70 years of devotion to cooking.

Her extraordinary memoir, Sweet Mandarin, stretches across four generations and encompasses a journey from rural Guangdong to 1920s Hong Kong, on to 1950s Britain and beyond.

But it was so nearly never written.

Article in the Hong Kong Standard

Perhaps this will provide a rare insight for Hong Kongers into life as a bbc?

Helen Tse talks about her bbc-themed book, 'Sweet Mandarin'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would rate Sweet Mandarin with 5 stars and am so proud that we finally have a British Born Chinese author! I found myself transported to China and Hong Kong, I could smell the foods and hear the sounds. I'm a BBC but not been to HK yet. I have always been drawn to the Far East and it is one of my dreams to travel through Asia.

I could appreciate the hardships that your grandmother and parents faced when coming to the UK.I grew up in Sheffield from the 70's to the 90's and again could relate to life in Middleton/Manchester.
I come from a family culture where the woman are very strong and have to cope with life's hardships and just have to get on with it. I saw some similarities with Lily and my own mother.

I loved the "Britishness" about the book, it took me right back to my childhood, some good times and some hardships. Two cultures form my identity, but I am British first and foremost and feel proud of my heritage. When growing up in the North, I did struggle for a long time to find out who I was and where I belonged and reading your book just affirms my identity.

Your book was a pleasant surprise and I didnt anticipate the impact it would have on me. Thanks for being an inspiration and Good Luck with your book tour.

Jane Lee