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Mo, Timothy

kong hong

(British, 1950– )

Son of a Cantonese father and English mother, Timothy Mo was born in Hong Kong and came to England when he was 10. He was at Oxford, and worked as a journalist before writing novels. The best introduction to his work is Sour Sweet (1982). Funny, touching, and absorbing, it introduces us to the Chen family, immigrants from Hong Kong who run a Chinese take-away. Follow this with The Redundancy of Courage (1991), an epic dealing with a bloody coup on a fictional south-east Asian island. Mo's work, however serious the subject, is always shot through with humour and irony, qualities also found in An Insular Possession (1986). Blending history and fiction and using a diversity of techniques including letters, diary extracts, and newspaper articles, it tells the complex story of two young Americans in China who get caught up in the Opium Wars.

Salman Rushdie, Caryl Phillips, Julian Barnes. See HISTORICAL  CB

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