The topics of literature and identity in Hong Kong have not been researched to much extent in the West. Now, 20 years after Hong Kong was transferred back to mainland China and after the ‘umbrella protests’ in 2014, the metropolis is in an entirely new phase and is faced with crucial challenges. The Hong Kong author Leung Ping-kwan highlights the uniqueness of his metropolis when he writes: “Hong Kong is a different place from both mainland China and the West. And writers from outside … do not want to see how people in this place really live their lives, or what kind of culture they have developed.“ The author Rey Chow who comes from Hong Kong recently suggested asking: ‘What might Hong Kong tell us about London and Beijing, rather than vice versa?’ This lecture tries to tackle questions of identity through a closer look at contemporary literature from Hong Kong.

Monika Gänßbauer is Professor of Chinese Studies at University of Erlangen.