Author(s): Feng Chi-shun
Diamond Hill was one of the poorest and most backward of villages in Hong Kong at a time when Hong Kong itself was poor and backward. We moved there in 1956 when I was almost 10. I left when I was 19. Those were the formative years of my life. It's a time that I remember well and cherish. Gambling and gangsters; fires and food stalls; the Walled City and its 'white powder'. This memoir of a native son of a Kowloon squatter village - the first book ever on Diamond Hill - presents the early days of a life shaped by a now-extinct community. Feng Chi-shun's sharp recollections of his humble upbringing are filled with warmth, humour, and an abundance of insights into a low-income Hong Kong neighbourhood that no longer exists, but remains close to the hearts of many who lived there. Diamond Hill will invite comparisons with Martin Booth's 2004 hit Gweilo. If you enjoyed the latter, you will likely find the former similarly absorbing, because the young Feng was, for many a "gweilo", the inaccessible yet intriguing face of an altogether edgier Hong Kong.
Feng Chi-shun is a naturalised US citizen, but considers Hong Kong -- where he grew up and attended medical school -- his home. His formative years were spent in Diamond Hill, where people were poor but life was rich. Trained as a pathologist, he has published close to 100 scientific articles on his medical research. He has also been a columnist for the South China Morning Post, the leading English newspaper in Hong Kong. Feeling deprived as a child, he is making up for lost time by living life to its fullest. He is an aficionado of wine and cigars, and a part-time punter attracted to roulette, poker, mah-jong and horse racing.
Prologue; The Neighbours & the Neighbourhood; Bus Stops; Schools; Fires; The Food We Ate; The Games We Played; Gambling; Thugs & Gangsters; A Dog's Life; Hollywood in Diamond Hill; The Walled City & the White Powder; Temple & churches; Epilogue.