Published: 28/07/2017
ISBN: 9781788033060
eISBN: 9781788031479
Format: Paperback/eBook

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Of Dancing Lights
by Eddie Waihuen Ng

This graphic memoir follows Eddie Ng’s life, spanning 60 years, with settings in Hong Kong, Canada and Australia. The story begins with the history of his clan, and then weaves through his childhood and early adulthood in the burgeoning post-war British colony of Hong Kong. This memoir demonstrate Eddie’s strength to rise above difficulty and his determination to make a life in the wider world.

Of Dancing Lights takes an in-depth look at Chinese culture in post-war British Hong Kong, referencing Chinese traditions and religious beliefs. It is one of few books that describe Hong Kong immediately after the Second World War, explaining how people lived and why they chose to migrate away from the city. Eddie also makes reference to modern China’s global influence and explores how this has affected his life in Australia. Of Dancing Lights offers a unique look at how the global role of China has changed so that the country has become a global influencer.

Written with rich descriptions and an irrepressible sense of humour, Of Dancing Lights will appeal to a wide range of readers. It contains a unique perspective of post-war period in Hong Kong that historians will find fascinating. The book also has a feel-good factor with Eddie’s love of life and will be enjoyed by readers who enjoy a happy ending.

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The quirky writing style is off-putting at first but if you persevere with the book you will be well rewarded.

‘Of Dancing Lights’ tells us about the author’s comparatively privileged early years in Hong Kong culminating with his graduation from HK University. The mood darkens at times, especially when the Cultural Revolution in China sparks street riots in Hong Kong. And it is above all this event that leads the author to decide that life would be much better for him in the West, ultimately moving permanently to Australia.

The book is well worth reading for its graphic account of how the author’s life unfolds. But its even greater fascination is the view that it gives us into his mind and, probably, the minds of most who have similarly moved from the Far East to the West. Unlike refugees, he and the others were not fleeing for their lives and, after a while in their new “utopia”, many soon began to hanker after various things they now missed. Some found the pull so great that they returned home. Others, the author included, have stayed put but still need to keep repeating to themselves the reasons why they made the move in the first place.

Anyone in the West with a neighbour, friend, colleague or client who emigrated from the Far East really should read this book.

by Tom Delbridge

An absolutely fascinating story about a very interesting man,gives an excellent insight into the post war growth of Hong Kong, its people and their relationship with mainland China.
The migration to Australia from Hong Kong is a great insight as to how the two cultures differ greatly and how he made the made the transition makes it extremely interesting.
Thoroughly recommended.

by John Parkin


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