Hong Kong Stories
Typhoon Media Ltd, 9789887794868, 188pp.
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Sometimes what is remembered is best forgotten. This is the feeling that permeates Insignificance. The protagonists in these stories cannot help but recall their former Hong Kong existence, one that shimmers with beauty and pain. On September 26, 2014, the occupation of three districts in Hong Kong -- known as the Umbrella Revolution -- began, shutting down traffic on several of the city's major thoroughfares. It was broadly a protest against the continued encroachment upon freedoms in this Chinese city, a city that is still not yet quite "China." The occupation lasted till December 15, 2014, and was quashed almost as quickly as it began. Subsequent protests are routinely silenced by Hong Kong's and China's governing elites. Will Hong Kong be reduced to an insignificance that denies its British colonial genesis and decries its Chinese Special Administrative Regional reality? Does Hong Kong's future look like its past, or is nostalgia a dangerous indulgence? Who will shed tears for the city it could or should become? These stories are among Xu Xi's most pointed, powerful work, as characters try to find their way forward in a familiar city they no longer recognize.