BOOKS: HANDING OVER HONG KONG

PAUL THEROUX SPINS DYSPEPTIC SATIRE OUT OF AN UPCOMING POLITICAL EVENT

Novels do not ordinarily dabble with too much exactitude in current events or upcoming headlines; fiction writers hope, after all, that their work will outlast the rapid stream of passing fancies. But Paul Theroux's Kowloon Tong (Houghton Mifflin; 243 pages; $23) arrives as a noteworthy exception to that rule. On June 30 Britain will end its long-term ownership and control of Hong Kong and hand over the colony to the People's Republic of China. Hot off the presses, Kowloon Tong offers Theroux's imaginative version of how some Hong Kong residents have fared--and will fare--in the face of such a monumental and...

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