The World of Suzie Wong

By Richard Mason,

Book cover of The World of Suzie Wong

Book description

Penguin Books reintroduces the timeless story of the love affair between a British artist and a Chinese prostitute.

Robert is t he only resident of the Nam Kok hotel not renting his room by the hour when he meets Suzie at the bar. She becomes his muse and they fall…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The World of Suzie Wong as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This story is so sweet and funny, I must have read it a dozen times since first arriving in China. That a Western male writer conceived a female Chinese character as charming and relatable as Suzie without ever straying into offensive farce really says something about the author, Richard Mason’s, craft. His prose is old-school eloquent, and deftly includes the smallest details that bring Suzie, a naughty yet affectionate hooker with a big heart, and her 1950s Hong Kong brothel settings, to vivid life. If I had only five desert-island books, The World of Suzie Wong would be one of…

From Tom's list on Chinese prostitution and vice.

I was originally put off this book by some of its critics – apparently, it was a lowbrow, sensationalist romance, full of idealised notions of beautiful prostitutes and East Asia. Today, when our literature is so heavy with fashionable cynicism, I welcome any attempt to celebrate beauty, and an ideal is a subject worth examining, as much as ‘reality’ (though I find the devotees of ‘reality’ typically put forth their own fantasies, the chief difference being that these latter are duller). The World of Suzi Wong offers a rich portrait of Hong Kong at one of the most romantic ages…

From Patrick's list on prostitution and prostitutes.

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