Karen Cheung

Apr 14, 2022

The Impossible City

A Hong Kong Memoir

Random House 2022

Hong Kong is almost impossible to explain to those not from the city. Too often, the city has had to struggle with shorthand used by those writing about the city from afar—for audiences with little understanding of what the place is actually like.

The Impossible City: A Hong Kong Memoir (Random House: 2022) by Karen Cheung is a deep dive into the things that make Hong Kong different, diverse and difficult.

In this interview, Karen and I talk about Hong Kong—the home city for both of us—and what it means to grow up in such a dense, unsure and misunderstood place.

Karen Cheung (karen-cheung.com) is a writer and journalist from Hong Kong. Her essays, cultural criticism, and reported features have appeared on This American Life and in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and other publications. She was formerly a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press and was co–founding editor of Still / Loud, an indie magazine about culture and music in Hong Kong.

Karen can be followed on Twitter at @karenklcheung.

You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of The Impossible City. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.

Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.

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Nicholas Gordon

Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.

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