In the late sixties when the Beatles are top of the charts and Twiggy is hitting the catwalk, Gill embarks on a life-changing journey to Hong Kong. Mao’s revolution is at its height. Vietnam has become America’s longest war with no end in sight. But it’s at an ad agency under insane direction where Gill finds her battles and learns to stand her ground.
In this spirited memoir, where Mad Men meets Han Suyin’s A Many-Splendoured Thing, Gill recreates a Hong Kong of the imagination. Attractive and naïve, wined and dined by Hong Kong’s elite, she gravitates towards camaraderie outside the world of advertising and money, and adventure follows. A weekend sail goes awry when a yacht with her on board strays into the waters of Communist China. A full-scale sea and air search mounted from Hong Kong can find no trace. Yet Gill is very much alive. With her friends, she is reciting from Mao’s Little Red Book with no idea what fate awaits her or how long she will be held.
The Hong Kong Letters is part memoir, part travelogue. Gill introduces us to characters that fiction couldn’t have invented any better and transports the reader to another time and place, a reminder that anyone can fit the experiences of a lifetime into two short years.