To Pierce the Material Screen: Vol. I, Fiction
To Pierce the Material Screen: An Anthology of 20th-Century Hong Kong Literature: Vol. I, Fiction
Edited by Eva Hung
with the assistance of Chi-yin Ip
viii + 276 pages
The perception of Hong Kong as materially successful and culturally marginal is a common one. The city, sheltered from the Chinese political tsunamis, has in fact developed a distinctive character that is reflected in her literary scene. It has been a safe haven for writers on the run, a cradle for genres unwelcome to the Beijing government, a battleground between 'Left' and 'Right', and a confluence of East and West, popular and high-brow. Works collected in this anthology, spanning three quarters of a century, show how local literature engaged with the dominant discourses of Chinese culture while exploring the pains and possibilities of a fast-developing metropolis. Taken in total, they reveal the emergence of the 'Hong Kong identity'.
'These two volumes offer a striking selection of Hong Kong 20th-century writing translated into English. The dynamic entrepot was for long considered something of a cultural desert but isn't so now. These books show that in reality it wasn't one for most of the last century either, at least as far as writing was concerned.'
—Bradley Winterton, Taipei Times
'These works blend traditional and modern Chinese culture with each other and with other cultures—Eastern and Western—to provide an introduction to the fabric of Hong Kong literature.'