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Suzie Wong


I found this book at a junk sale! I heard about Suzie Wong when I grew in the 1970s Hong Kong, but never got to read the book or see the movie starring Nancy Kwan as Suzie Wong and William Holden as Robert Lomax. Who, or what, is Suzie Wong? She is the protagonist in Richard Mason’s 1957 novel The World of Suzie Wong and the stereotypical cliche of Chinese women in its 1960 Hollywood adaptation. The story is about the romance between a young Englishman who leaves his job on a rubber plantation for a new life as an aspiring artist, and a Chinese prostitute working in a Wan Chai hotel bar. The story remains an enthralling snapshot of a bygone age, albeit one that has also faced accusations of sexism and racism. Much of Suzie’s world is gone even before I was born in the 1970s, lost to the bulldozers, but Hong Kong has yet to conjure up an image to rival the allure of Suzie Wong.


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