Do you love our series “The Help”, which tells the first-person stories of Hong Kong’s domestic workers? Good. You may also be interested in a brand new novel based around the same subject. We certainly are!
“Tales from Victoria Park” is a collection of short stories from Hong Kong’s hidden subculture, whether it be Dina the phone card seller, Wiji the Western boyfriend juggler, or life-long friends Wati and Murtini.
Penned by American Todd Crowell, a formerly Hong Kong-based journalist, the book seeks to document the daily lives and thoughts of a few of Hong Kong’s 320,000+ foreign maids while flagging up the bigger issues they have to face, such as exploitation, abuse and the threat of deportation.
“Indonesian women – and Filipina women too – are Hong Kong’s invisible minority, shut away in their employers’ homes for most of the week until they congregate in the city’s relatively few open places – Indonesians in Victoria Park, Filipinos in Statue Square and other venues where they suddenly seem ubiquitous,” Crowell says. “Probably only a foreigner like myself living in Hong Kong would have ever looked on these people as the subject for a novel.”
Promising to be weird, funny and heartbreaking all at the same time, the cross cultural tales will hopefully serve as a new tool to help Hongkongers better understand and appreciate this often ignored segment of society.
Either that or it will sensationlise their stories for money. We shall see!
“Tales from Victoria Park” will be available in bookshops next month for HKD108 and can be ordered online here.