Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City

( Chinese - Di tu ji - 1997 )

novel by Dung Kai-Cheung

translated by Bonnie McDougall & Anders Hansson

Published - Columbia University Press - hardback - 2012
ISBN: 023116100X / 9780231161008

Columibia University Press ( Barnes & Noble ) - Nook - 2012
ISBN: 9780231504225

Columbia University Press ( Amazon ) - Kindle - 2012

Set in the long-lost City of Victoria ( a fictional world similar to modern-day Hong Kong ), Atlas is written from the unified perspective of future archaeologists struggling to rebuild a thrilling metropolis. It is divided into four sections - “theory,” “the city,” “streets,” “signs” - reimagining Victoria through maps and other historical documents and artifacts. There is a mix of real-world scenarios with purely invented people and events, and iit incorporates anecdote, actual and fictional social commentary, and critique, The novel challenges the representation of place and history and the limits of technical and scientific media in reconstructing that history. Playing with a variety of styles and subjects, it creatively engages with the fate of Hong Kong since its British “handover” in 1997, which officially marked the end of colonial rule and the beginning of an uncharted future.