Ray Hecht is an American writer based in Shenzhen who I know through his personal blog about his varied experience in China’s metropolis of the moment (and perhaps future). He’s lived in both Guangzhou and Shenzhen actually, and he’s put his abundant Cantonese experience into use in a recently released novel South China Morning Blues, for which I gladly put aside my China cynicism and dug into to review.
SCMB (as I’ll call the novel from this point) takes place in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, the 3 giants of the Pearl River Delta. While it is China’s manufacturing powerhouse and the world’s factory, this region is rarely featured in China literature, which often are set in Beijing or Shanghai. It can be easy to forget that South China, specifically Guangdong, was among the first Chinese regions to come into contact with Europeans through trade starting from the 17th century.
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