To Eastern Lands

To Eastern Lands by Roger Uren

TO EASTERN LANDS features prose, photographs and verse from the 1960s onwards about a Melbourne boy who became increasingly involved in Asia. The prose passage sets out the social, cultural and intellectual context in which this young Melbournian matured and developed from grammar school student to diplomat and author. The verse reflects an array of issues. The early verse describes the pleasures of time at the sea and the philosophical questions that confront a grammar school student. The later verse captures the impressions formed by time spent in India, Malaysia, China, Japan and other Asian countries. The focus expands from personal and romantic relationships through to diplomatic incidents and international politics, including satirical views of the often cliché-laced language of politicians and academics. The photographs of people and places are contemporary with the prose and verse and illustrate them.~~

Readers will interpret Roger’s poems in their own way. But my view is that they present a tableau of interests that are well-written, often amusing, reflecting the times in which they were written and presenting a fascinating picture of a developing character and personality.”

— The Hon. Neil Brown QC, Former Minister in the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, subsequently deputy leader of the Liberal Party, and now a prominent lawyer, arbitrator and mediator.

Now Roger has offered us a special treat. His habit, over all these years of rendering private thoughts in verse, has been revealed. This perceptive practice may have been unfamiliar to some who knew him, although his prose talent, often under the nom de plume of John Byron, was of unquestioned value. But now Roger offers us, often with wry humour, a glimpse of his inner sense – at particular times – in an enjoyable format. Roger’s views, always valued, now have a new perspective for his admirers to appreciate.”

 James A. Kelly, Former Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council and US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and the Pacific Affairs.


In Stock

Buddha is a Punk Skater

Buddha is a Punk Skater by Wayne Furlong

A detailed account by an Australian teacher of his experiences in Inner Mongolia, Melbourne, Southern China (Shenzhen) and Hong Kong. In 1977 Wayne, fresh out of university, finds himself in a job for which he is not equipped – English teacher in a tough all-boys secondary school in Melbourne, Australia. He has no learning theory, no confidence and no understanding of the people he is about to teach. He faces a world of binge-drinkers and dope-smokers, of old-school thugs and hippies, of loud music and violence. And that’s just the staffroom. For the next forty years, in Melbourne and in Hong Kong, Wayne is slowly dragged to competence by a range of characters, minority and majority, indigenous and foreign, gay and straight, violent and kind, criminal and law-abiding. They are variously abled. They are funny and sad, spiritual and materialistic. They are all as different from him as he is from them and they are all the same. This is a book for educators and student teachers, for anyone who ever went to school, and for anyone who enjoys an entertaining read.


In stock

Chocolate’s Brown Study

Chocolate’s Brown Study in the Bag by Rupert Chan (Rupert Kwan Yun Chan)

The toy poodle, Chocolate, tells all about his human family and reveals the secret of happiness. Pbk. Finalist, International Proverse Prize 2009.

“Rupert Chan has a light, humorous touch. Delightful. Witty.”

– Proverse Prize Judges, 2009


In Stock

The Diplomat of Kashgar

The Diplomat of Kashgar: A Very Special Agent: The Life of Sir George Macartney, 18 January 1867-19 May 1945 by James McCarthy.

The subject of this biography, Sir George Macartney, was of mixed Scottish-Chinese parentage. Based in remote Kashgar on the famous Silk Road, he was caught up in the great 19th and early 20th century power-struggle between Britain,China and Russia over control of Central Asia in what came to be known as ‘The Great Game’. Here he met the scheming Russian Consul Nicolai Petrovsky who was to prove a cunning adversary in the political contest for control in this turbulent region.

Much of the book is concerned with Petrovsky’s devious machinations to outflank the British agent. Macartney’s wife, Catherine, has provided intimate descriptions of their domestic life and some of the hazardous journeys they made with their family when travelling to and from the United Kingdom on leave. Her very few visitors were unstinting in their praise for her courage and adaptability, not least when seriously threatened by revolutionaries. They also recognised that only George Macartney, with his renowned tact and diplomacy, allied to steely determination, could have maintained the British position with so little external support. His dangerous encounter leading a mission to the Bolshevik revolutionaries in Tashkent made for a dramatic finale to his extraordinary career in a restive region now causing concern to the Chinese government.


In Stock

The Golden Needle

The Golden Needle: The Biography of Frederick Stewart (1836-1889) by Gillian Bickley

Pbk with archival photographs. 1st published by the David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University.Definitive biography of the Founder of Hong Kong Government Education, first Head of the Government Education Department, first Principal of Queen’s College (originally the Central School).

“We need more studies of this type if we are to understand fully the complexities of colonial rule.”

Clive Whitehead, University of Western Australia, Int. J. of Lifelong Education

#Queen’s College Hong Kong #Queen’s College Hong Kong history #Hong Kong history #Hong Kong Nineteenth Century #Education history #George Smith #Bishop of Victoria #James Legge #Frederick Stewart #E.J. EitelA significant book in the history of Hong Kong, with links back to Aberdeen, Scotland. Available in English and Chinese.


Not In Stock

The Golden Needle Audiobook

The Golden Needle Audio Book by Gillian Bickley read by Verner Bickley

VERNER BICKLEY has had extensive radio and television experience, with the BBC Far Eastern Station; NHK, Tokyo; Radio Republik Indonesia, Radio Singapore and RTHK. He did voice-overs for two distinguished documentaries in Japan and is a well-known voice among several student groups in Hong Kong. He has had small parts in films starring Jet Lee, Jacky Chan and Leo Lai.

The complete text of Gillian Bickley’s biography of the Founder of Hong Kong Education, Frederick Stewart, has been professionally recorded by Verner Bickley and edited on 14 CDs.


In Stock

Memoirs of an Ice Cream Lady

Memoirs of an Ice-Cream Lady by Emily Ho

Pbk with photographs. Semi-finalist, international Proverse Prize 2010.

“This charming story of an ice-cream parlor in Hong Kong’s Lamma Island is a whimsical mixture of crazy characters, wise sayings, anecdotes, history and fantasies. A story of love and betrayal, told simply and straight from the heart.”

Patricia W. Grey


In Stock

A Personal Journey Through Sketching

A Personal Journey through Sketching by Errol Patrick Hugh (paperback)

ERROL PATRICK HUGH began sketching as a child. Throughout his architecture career in Canada and Hong Kong, he retained his passion for sketching. A Personal Journey Through Sketching confirms his commitment to this fascinating art. He encourages all to join him; to take up sketching for the pleasure and perceptiveness it will bring. His advice is, to put our digital cameras aside for a while, and focus our artistic and analytical skills to create a memoir of what we see. After that, we may want to photograph the same scene for comparion and contrast, as he does in A Personal Journey Through Sketching: The Sketcher’s Art.Using his own pairs of sketches and photographs as examples – with subjects in North America and Hong Kong as diverse as stilt houses and iconic modern architecture – he gives us personal tips on how to do it.


In Stock

The Romance of a Literatus and his Concubine

The Romance of a Literatus and his Concubine by Jun Fang and Lifang He

An annotated translation of Reminiscences of the Plum-shaded Convent (Yingmeian Yiyu 影梅庵憶語), written by China’s prominent essayist and poet Mao Xiang冒襄 (1611-1693) in memory of his concubine Dong Xiaowan 董小宛 (1624-1651).Critically acclaimed by generations of Chinese commentators, this memoir presents a vivid image of a young woman who determinedly pursued the goal of escaping from her former life as a courtesan and calmly dealt with all the difficulties she encountered in the last decade of her short life. It also reveals the political and social vicissitudes of Chinese society and the life of its élite during the tumultuous Ming-Qing dynastic transition. (The “Plum-shaded Convent” refers to the place where Dong was buried.)

Working on both the Daoguang edition of the original text printed in the early 19th century and the identical version, published in the early twentieth century under the editorship of Mao Xiang’s descendent, the erudite scholar Mao Guangsheng (1873-1959), and drawing on the translators’ previous research on Mao Xiang and the late Ming literati, this book offers a truthful rendition of the Chinese masterpiece. It identifies essentially all the historical figures who appear in the memoir and provides ample explanatory notes. To help readers understand the context of the book, the translators have provided photographs of some of the places mentioned in the memoir, which they took during their visits to East China in 2018. Also included are examples of Mao Xiang’s calligraphy and Dong Xiaowan’s painting.This book is both the first translation of Yingmeian Yiyu into English since 1931 and a valuable resource for studying Chinese history, literature, and gender relations in the seventeenth century. The Romance of a Literatus and his Concubine in Seventeenth-century China should appeal to a wide readership of students, specialists, and interested laypersons.


In Stock

Semper Fi

Semper Fi: The Story of a Vietnam Era Marine by Orville Leverne Clubb

“The story of an American who came from a humble background, who had a great love for his country and who put his life on the line for it.” — Alan J. Zygowicz, Major USMC, Special Agent in Charge, Hong Kong Office, U.S. Secret Service 1996-1999.Pbk with photographs.You can purchase using the PayPal link below.


In Stock

A Shimmering Sea

A Shimmering Sea: Hong Kong Stories by Sophronia Liu. Pbk with some b/w photographs.

A SHIMMERING SEA: HONG KONG STORIES tells of a quest for home, told through a vivid and lyrical sequence of narratives. 

Sophronia Liu chronicles first her beginnings in 1950s Hong Kong. Her parents – each an indigenous inhabitant of a clan village – had very different life-experiences from each other. Her father attended prestigious King’s College as a scholarship student; her mother, an illiterate peasant, was fully occupied in raising ten children. Among the episodes, some tell of her growing up during the 1960s: of a grade school classmate’s tragic suicide, the arrival of a rambunctious and feisty domestic helper from the countryside, plainclothes detectives who came to her home to solicit her father for a bribe. She tells of her mother’s long illness, of turmoil and quarrels among family members. Some twenty years later, when Liu was a student in the American Midwest, memories of these people and places flooded back to haunt her. Responding to their call, Sophronia eventually returned to Hong Kong in 2006, to live near her native village and continue to write. Unfortunately, she passed away in Hong Kong on 14 January 2013, one day after her 60th birthday.

Winner of the Proverse Prize 2012


In Stock

Searching for Frederick

Searching for Frederick by Verner Bickley 

VERNER BICKLEY shared in his wife’s research for the biography of Frederick Stewart. His own career as cultural and educational practitioner and educator provided useful insights and leads.Narrative of eight-years research, in Scotland, England and Hong Kong, as well as world-wide, with useful addresses and contact information.Intermixed with fascinating stories and provocative reflections from the author’s own life experience, mainly in Asia.


In Stock

Steps to Paradise and Beyond

Steps to Paradise and Beyond: Hawaii to China, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Elsewhere by Verner Bickley 

In STEPS TO PARADISE AND BEYOND, which follows Footfalls Echo in the Memory as the second volume of his autobiography.

VERNER BICKLEY describes the events and issues that were important to him during a period of his life spent in Hawaii andSaudi Arabia. InHawaii from 1971 to 1981, he served as the Director of the Culture Learning Institute at theEast-WestCenter, established by the U.S. Congress inHawaii in 1960 and functioning as a U.S-based institution for public diplomacy with international governance, staffing, students and Fellows. 

For nine years (1972-1980), Verner led a small team of anthropologists, cross-cultural psychologists and linguists, focusing on the different ways in which individuals and whole societies cope in bicultural and multicultural contexts and how they address problems presented by different cultural norms. In this book he recalls some of the highlights of his stay inHawaii; he touches briefly on President Obama’s education inOahuand on the life of the President’s mother as an East-West Center “grantee.” He recalls the impact made by Captain Cook on the Hawaiian Islandsand the much later controversy surrounding Hawaiian claims to regain its independence from theUnited States. He mentions the support that his Institute provided for the pioneering voyage of the canoe, Hõküle’a, fromHawaiitoTahiti, disproving the theories of Thor Heyerdahl, and he describes his personal hasty retreat fromSouth Koreawhen he was informed of the assassination of President Park Chong Hee. 

After nine interesting years in Hawaii, Verner moved to Saudia Arabia for a two-year assignment with the national airline, Saudia. Responsible for a multi-national staff of 100 persons, mainly, but not exclusively, in Jeddah and Riyadh, he recalls in particular the dare-devil driving of newly-rich Saudis; an interesting visit to a staff member imprisoned in one of Jeddah’s gaols; the restrictions suffered by women, in particular the ban on their driving any form of vehicle, and the adherence in practice to the precepts of the 18th century divine, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab. VERNER BICKLEY’S experiences have created in him an interest in cross-cultural experiences and attitudes and in a desire to communicate what he has learnt. He hopes he can not only interest his readers, but encourage them to build on their own desire to learn about and empathise with other cultures.


In Stock

The Stewarts of Bourtreebush

The Stewarts of Bourtreebush by Gillian Bickley

With useful notes and authoritative documentation of sources. May serve as a reference to writing family history and biography.

Extensive documentation and sympathetic portrayals of the Scottish family of the Founder of Hong Kong Government Education, Frederick Stewart, presenting the perspective of each family member.


In Stock

Create a website or blog at