Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong (Paperback)
Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong
University of Chicago Press, 9780226510200, 241pp.
Publication Date: June 30, 2011
About the Author
Praise For Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong…
“Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions is the most notorious flophouse in Asia. . . . The shabby tenement is today as much about global commerce as tourism. What the building should be renowned for, argues Gordon Mathews in his fluid and enjoyable field study Ghetto at the Center of the World, is the ingenious way ‘low-end globalists’ eke out profits from petit arbitrage. . . . It reads like a first-rate business book.”—Wall Street Journal
“In this wonderful book Gordon Mathews takes on an intriguing project: daily life as it is lived, articulated, dreamed, denied, regretted, and defended in a rather rundown but very public building in Hong Kong. The residents of Chungking Mansions are economically blocked from the rest of the city and often racially discriminated against, so how do such marginalized people survive, much less prosper? This is the conundrum at the heart of Ghetto at the Center of the World. Mathews tackles it by providing a vivid description of the people who live their lives in the building’s dimly lit hallways, restaurants, and shops, and by analyzing the larger material and political forces at work. The resulting account is as informative and revealing as it is entertaining.”—William Jankowiak, author of Sex, Death, and Hierarchy in a Chinese City