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A Hong Kong literary outpost stands its ground

Bleak House Books helps nourish the city's creative and intellectual soul

Bleak House Books founder Albert Wan. He moved his family to Hong Kong from the U.S. in 2017, trading a legal career for the life of a bookseller. (Photo by Jeremy Smart)

HONG KONG -- In a nondescript industrial building in Kowloon, bordered by mechanics and warehouses, an independent Hong Kong bookshop is reemerging from a pandemic-imposed hibernation at a time when words -- both written and spoken -- are viewed with increasing scrutiny.

Tucked away at the end of an austere corridor on level 27 is Bleak House Books, the warmest of literary worlds that comes with an in-house artist, designated "bookworms" on staff, volunteers and a roster of regular public events.

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