PINK MOUNTAIN ON LOCUST ISLAND
Jamie Marina Lau
WINNER of the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Readings Residency Award
Shortlisted for the 2019 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards
Monk lives in Chinatown with her washed-up painter father. When Santa Coy — possible boyfriend, potential accomplice — enters their lives, an intoxicating hunger consumes their home. So begins a heady descent into art, casino resorts, drugs, vacant swimming pools, religion, pixelated tutorial videos, and senseless violence.
In bursts of fizzing, staccato and claustrophobic prose, this modern Australian take on the classic hard-boiled novel bounces you between pulverised English, elastic Cantonese and the new dialect of a digitised world.
Tip over into a subterranean noir of the most electronic generation.
LENGTH: 208 pp.
PUBLICATION DATE: April 2018
INTERVIEWS WITH THE AUTHOR
JAMIE MARINA LAU AT THE GUARDIAN
"I was really interested in writing about the transactions between people and of people as a 'product'. What was also very important to me was exploring the difference between choice and necessity of certain professions and lifestyles – especially unpacking the social, cultural and psychological obligations of professions which rely on giving their customers 'hope' – for instance, professions in entertainment, drug culture and religious/spiritual organisations. All this – and then how it ties in with diasporic communities too."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jamie Marina Lau (劉劍冰) is a 22-year-old writer and musician from Melbourne. Her work can be found in Cordite, ROOKIE magazine, Voiceworks, the Art Hoe Collective and in Monash University’s 2016 anthology Futures. She is currently studying film and literature, producing music, and working on more fiction.
PRAISE FOR PINK MOUNTAIN ON LOCUST ISLAND
Briohny Doyle, author of The Island Will Sink and Adult Fantasy
“Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau was a surprise delight. It’s a first novel and it’s like nothing else I’ve read.”
Louise Swinn, The Australian
“There is iridescence in this splatter artwork of a novel but, like its cover of light pink splotches against a matt black background, there’s also unknowingness and darkness.”
Thuy On, The Australian
“Lau’s surreal prose captures the confusion of adolescence in the 21st century. Vivid, inventive descriptions of yum cha, high-school friendships and claustrophobic apartment living evoke the experience of growing up in a diasporic community and the sensory overload of being surrounded by people, yet still alone. A stylish yet moving glimpse into the loneliness of being a teenage girl, Pink Mountain on Locust Island heralds the arrival of an electric new Australian writer.”
Kelsey Oldham, Books+Publishing
“This is a novel written for a generation of digital natives by one of their own, reflective of both their lived experience and their style of content engagement; yet it also nods to the literary on a deeper level. With its experimental form and innovative language, Pink Mountain On Locust Island is a superb example of the future of literary fiction.”
Amanda McLeod, NSW Writers Centre
“Pink Mountain on Locust Island is real and magnetic, simple yet so full of life. If this is just the beginning, Australian literature has gained something special.”
“Pink Mountain on Locust Island reads like a fever dream or a drug-induced hallucination. Jamie Marina Lau presents a surreal, electronic parable that sweeps us through the confusing hell that is Monk’s life growing up in the digital age. Fifteen and living with a failed artist father in a Chinatown apartment, Monk becomes entranced with manicpixie-dream-boy Santa Coy. As his electrifying presence infects their lives, the novel accelerates into a trippy journey through a mishmash of art, angst, drugs, hunger and desire.”
Annie Zhang, Honi Soit