Diamond Hill (Hardback)Kit Fan (author)
Cinematic in scope and peopled with unforgettable characters, poet Fan's fiction debut is a vivacious portrait of a city on the brink of immense change and unwilling to let go of the ghosts of its past.
Diamond Hill was once the 'Hollywood of the Orient', but is now an eyesore in the middle of a glitzy financial hub. Buddhist nuns, drug gangs, property developers, the government and foreign powers are all vying for power, each wanting to stake their claim on the land.
Set in the last shanty town of Hong Kong before the fraught 1997 handover from Britain to China, Diamond Hill follows the return of a recovering heroin addict, Buddha, as he tries to salvage what's left from a place he hoped to forget.
Buddha finds himself crossing swords with the Iron Nun, fighting for her nunnery; a disturbed novice, Quartz, who is fleeing her past; a faded film actress called Audrey Hepburn; and Boss, a teenage gang leader with a big mouth and even bigger plans, plotting to escape what she calls 'the death of Hong Kong'.
Kit Fan's hard-hitting and exhilarating debut is a requiem for a disappearing city, and a meditation on powerlessness, religion, colonialism and displacement. It explores the price of forgetting and how the present is ultimately always entangled in the past.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 460 g
Dimensions: 220 x 146 x 36 mm
A vivid, powerful portrait of a vanishing world' - David Nicholls
'A rapid-fire debut with a cinematographer's eye for detail, Diamond Hill interrogates fate, memory and redemption at a filmic velocity befitting its setting in Hong Kong's former Hollywood. Fan strikes a deft balance between agile set-pieces and lingering beauty' - Naoise Dolan
'The best debut I've read in ages ... The beauty and ugliness of life continually jostle as Buddha tries and often fails to do the right thing. There is a glorious luminosity to the writing and the reading experience is rather like looking into a kaleidoscope and giving it several twirls. I am very keen on swearing and especially enjoyed the vigorous and earthy cursing and the fascinating note at the end on Cantonese slang and profanities' - Cathy Rentzenbrink
'Gripping and highly accomplished ... a thoroughly enjoyable and profound exploration of powerlessness, identity and the evolution of a city' - The Guardian
'Kit Fan plunges us face-first into the pungently sordid world of Diamond Hill in his debut novel ... Fan is an exuberant chronicler of a lost time and place, delightedly preserving Cantonese slang and profanities ... it's a timely consideration of Hong Kong's recent past' - The Times
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