The Umbrella Movement in 2014 put Hong Kong on the world map and elevated this docile, money-minded Asian island to a model for pro-democracy campaigns across the globe. Umbrellas in Bloom is the first book published in English to chronicle this history-making event, written based on the author's firsthand account at the main protest sites. It steps through the 79-day struggle, from the firing of the first shot of tear gas by riot police to the evacuation of the last student protester from the downtown encampments. It is all you need to know about the occupy movement: who took part in it, why it happened, how it transpired, and what it did and did not achieve.
Zeb Eckert of Bloomberg Television called the book “authoritative, compelling and full of surprises.” Didi Tatlow of The New York Times said it “offers a vivid account with firsthand observations and explanations of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's arcane political system.”
Prominent figures have lent their support to Umbrellas in Bloom. “As a leader of the Umbrella movement, I am hopeful that this book—the first in the world to chronicle the protests in the English language—will enable readers everywhere to better understand our political reality,” says Joshua Wong, a key student leader of the occupy movement. Commentator Chip Tsao wrote: “Reading Jason’s book reminds me that Hong Kong’s story is not yet finished. [He] is more than a journalistic outsider. He is one of the story’s protagonists.”
Umbrellas in Bloom debuted on Amazon.com in 2016 as the certified No.1 New Release in the “Hong Kong History” category. It was reprinted within three months of its first release.
Together with HONG KONG State of Mind and No City For Slow Men, Umbrellas in Bloom forms Ng’s ‘Hong Kong Trilogy’ that traces the city’s sociopolitical developments since its return to Chinese rule.
“There is no greater tour guide to the Umbrella campgrounds than Ng—he offers a vivid and comprehensive account of the pro-democracy movement and a city in transition. Umbrellas in Bloom is a definitive compendium of on-the-ground reporting, timelines, maps, photographs, illustrations, a glossary, and a who’s-who of Hong Kong’s politics.” —Tom Grundy, editor-in-chief, Hong Kong Free Press
“Ng captures the lifecycle of the occupy movement with compassion and wit.” —Benny Tai, co-founder of Occupy Central with Love and Peace
“Insightful, accessible, and a hugely enjoyable read, Umbrellas in Bloom is jam-packed with eureka moments. The movement in all its vibrancy jumps off every page. It is essential reading for anybody wanting to understand the existential crisis currently engulfing Hong Kong.” —Matthew Torne, director of Lessons in Dissent
Paperback, 356 pages
Three years after his bestselling debut HONG KONG State of Mind, the author returns with a sequel that is bigger and every bit as poignant. Currently in its fourth printing, No City for Slow Men is a collection of 36 essays that examine some of the pressing social, cultural and existential issues facing Hong Kong. It takes the reader on a tour de force from the gravity-defying property market to the plunging depths of old age poverty, from the storied streets of Sheung Wan to the beckoning island of Cheung Chau, from the culture-shocked Western expat to the misunderstood mainland Chinese and the disenfranchised foreign domestic helper. The result is a treatise on Hong Kong that is thought-provoking, touching and immensely entertaining.
No City for Slow Men was selected as “Best Book in 2013“ by Bookazine and as the book award for hundreds of Harvard Club Book Prize winners from 135 secondary schools in Hong Kong. It has been a top 10 bestseller at major bookstores in Hong Kong. In January 2014, it took the number one spot on Bookazine's bestsellers chart. The book is being used as teaching materials in social studies and creative writing classes at, among other places, Hong Kong Baptist University, Savannah College of Art and Design and Yew Chung Community College.
“[Ng] offers 36 nicely judged, pithy, often punchy essays to ‘inform and empower’ readers. His unpretentious writing reveals a frank, cut-to-the-chase view of life, plus, on occasion, a commendably sympathetic nature.” —Guy Haydon, South China Morning Post
“The most engrossing part of No City for Slow Men—and, indeed, Ng’s writing in general—is his sincerity, laying bare the best and worst of Hong Kong society, as well as his own struggles and insecurities.” —Meredith McBride, TimeOut HK
“Ng has done it again! His new book is as personal and insightful as the first.” —Zeb Eckert, Bloomberg Television
Paperback, 272 pages
Reprinted: 2014, 2016, 2017
Released in 2010 to rave reviews and currently in its sixth printing, HONG KONG State of Mind is a collection of essays that zero in on the city's idiosyncrasies with deadpan precision. At once an outsider looking in and an insider looking out, the author has created something for everyone: a travel journal for the passing visitor, a user's manual for the wide-eyed expat, and an open diary for the native Hong Konger looking for moments of reflection.
In 2012, HONG KONG State of Mind was chosen as the book award for hundreds Harvard Club Book Prize winners from 128 secondary schools in Hong Kong. Later that year, it was featured at the 2013 Hong Kong Book fair and the 2013 Hong Kong International Literary Festival. In was named one of the ten best books about Hong Kong by popular website The Cultural Trip, calling it “the perfect introduction to the city which [the author] satirizes... and cherishes as a unique global metropolis.”
In 2016, HONG KONG State of Mind was the certified No.1 Bestseller in the “Hong Kong History“ category on Amazon.com, the world's largest bookseller.
“Hong Kong's colorful history and vibrant street life come alive in a vivid account of the pleasures and contradictions of this Asian metropolis” —Zeb Eckert, Bloomberg Television
“Honest, insightful and immensely entertaining” —Joseph Chow, editor-in-chief, Elle (Hong Kong)
“One of the most relevant books written in English for today's Hong Kong issues.” —Susan Blumberg-Kason, author of Good Chinese Wife
Paperback, 222 pages
Published: December 2010
Reprinted: 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
Jason is working on a new non-fiction title exploring the Hong Kong identity, expected to be published in 2020.