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The Road (Echoes
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Austin Coates (1922-97), a former senior British civil servant in Hong Kong, Malaya, and Sarawak, left government service soon after completing this novel to pursue a professional writing career. Widely regarded as the most distinguished English-language

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In this novel Austin Coates offers a unique insight into the small world of Britain's Chinese colony of Hong Kong in the 1950s. The Road shows us the brittle comedy of colonial manners; but at the same time the drama of the construction of a road, with its clash between ambitious modernization and entrenched tradition, emerges as something of an allegory of the building of a modern Hong Kong. Coates was an astute observer of what happens when cultures misunderstand each other, but also of what happens when they understand each other only too well. -- Douglas Kerr, Professor of English, University of Hong Kong

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