Meet Muhammad Cohen in New York on May 6

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As the Hong Kong handover boom fizzles into the Asian economic bust, a young American couple’s marriage and careers tumble into a maze of television news, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie.

Native New Yorker in exile Muhammad Cohen’s engaging, often hilarious novel captures the mood ahead of the 1997 handover when Hong Kong reigned as the centre of the universe, a multicultural melting pot bubbling with pure gold. As the Asian crisis abruptly ends the party, mainland China emerges, eclipsing Hong Kong. For everyone whose job or business falls under China’s lengthening economic shadow, Hong Kong On Air presents a fresh angle on how it all began. For media watchers, Hong Kong On Air broadcasts the backstage secrets of television news, how and why some events become headlines and others die gasping for air time.

During Hong Kong’s pre-handover boom, Franklin Global Networks Asia (Fuggin’ Asia) becomes a hit, a star is born, and mistakes are easy to overlook. But the economic crisis ripens relationships for treachery, creates opportunities for revenge, and moves China center stage, triggering a great leap forward for some, a long march to failure for others.

Author Cohen – a native New Yorker who cut his journalistic teeth in local papers and the Yankee Stadium press box – will discuss his novel along with the political and economic developments behind it at BookCulture, 536 W 112 St, on May 6, 6.30-8pm. He’ll also be reading excerpts and signing copies of what one reviewer calls “the great American Hong Kong handover novel.”

Learn more about the book at www.hongkongonair.com and about the author and his writing at www.muhammadcohen.com.

Whether you can be there or not, please spread the word. Attending the event earns a ticket to the exclusive afterparty.

Seinfeld fans note BookCulture is a half-block from Tom’s Restaurant, the exterior shot used as Monk’s Diner on the show. Writer and Barnard graduate Jami Bernard made Tom’s (in)famous first for its bent cheese – rather than grilled cheese – sandwiches.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.

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