Yanyi’s reflections on ‘My City’


While I was impressed by “citizenship only” and the funeral train in my first reading of the book, My City’s being chosen as the book for 2020 by “One City One Book” makes it possible for my re-reading of it. Now I am able to notice what I have neglected previously, especially the melancholy in My City. And I wonder how Xi Xi might write about Hong Kong in 2020 if there would be a sequel to My City.

But I can say Xi Xi has never meant to turn us into a “Merry Not.” Just as what the mother says in My City: “Looking at the sunrise is like searching for hope,” I then searched for hopes in the book. And I found that “hope” in My City is closely related to “planting” and “building,” for example, the prisoners’ planting of trees, the young people’s planting of telephone poles in the countryside, as well as Braids’ discovery of a glass garden…

So I wish those hopes, like the wrapped piano at No. 1 Hobby Horse Road, when it is carried out again, can make a sound and be heard.

Chen Yanyi
PhD Candidate, Department of Literature and Cultural Studies, EdUHK

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