Hong Kong's Golden Boy


GO EAST, YOUNG MAN: Booth, here with his mother, gives a luminous account of his Asian years

On Martin Booth's first day in Hong Kong in 1952, his parents took him to lunch at the British naval base where his father was about to start work. There the 7-year-old was confronted with a frightening plateful of leggy crustaceans unknown back in England. As he recounts in Gweilo (Doubleday; 342 pages), a memoir of his first three years in the former crown colony, a kindly naval officer briefed him on local customs: "Whenever someone offers you something to eat, accept it. That's being polite."

Booth followed the advice, inhaling more exotic food, culture and adventure in...

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