novelist, born in Hong Kong, the son of a Chinese father and an English mother. His first novel, The Monkey King (1978), set in the Hong Kong business community, was followed by Sour Sweet (1982), which describes the fortunes of a Chinese family who emigrate to London in the 1960s to open a restaurant. It was short‐listed for the Booker Prize and subsequently adapted by Ian McEwan for a film (1988). His most ambitious work to date, An Insular Possession (1986), is set during the opium wars of the 19th cent. between Britain and China. The Redundancy of Courage (1991) is a powerful political thriller in which a young man's life is transformed by violent events. Brownout on Breadfruit (1995) and Renegade or Halo2 (1999) are set in the Philippines.
Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).