Bidisha Banerjee comments on ‘My City’

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What I enjoyed most about reading Xi Xi’s My City, is the quaint charm with which she imbues everything she delineates, even the most mundane things like moving house, wrapping things in plastic, or repairing telephones. Xi Xi’s exquisite eye for detail, her use of quirky names and addresses like Braids and Fruits who live in No. 1 Hobby Horse Road or talking telephones that utter profundities like “There is no beginning or no end to human existence,” all captivate the reader. She compels us to see Hong Kong with new eyes. A typical Hong Kong rainstorm becomes an opportunity for collecting lightning and water, a visit to an outlying island ends up in a fortress with cannons and we find ourselves repeating after her characters “I like the sea in this city,” “I like the roads in this city” and above all, “god bless my city.”

Bidisha Banerjee
Associate Professor in the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies, EdUHK

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