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Diamond Hill

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781405546638

Price: £19.99

‘A rapid-fire debut with a cinematographer’s eye for detail… Fan strikes a deft balance between agile set-pieces and lingering beauty.’ Naoise Dolan

‘A vivid, powerful portrait of a vanishing world.’ David Nicholls

‘Do you know what it was like here? You wouldn’t believe the glamour. We had our own film studio, redbrick houses for the stars, even Jackie Chan. Now look at us – the Hollywood of the Orient will soon be gone altogether.’

1987, Hong Kong. Trying to outrun his demons, a young man who calls himself Buddha returns to the bustling place of his birth. He moves into a small Buddhist nunnery in the crumbling neighbourhood of Diamond Hill, where planes landing at the nearby airport fly so close overhead that travellers can see into the rooms of those below.

As Buddha begins to care for the nuns and their neighbours, this pocket of the old city is vanishing. Even the fiery Iron Nun cannot prevent the frequent landslides that threaten the nunnery she fights for, and in the nearby shanty town, a faded film actress who calls herself Audrey Hepburn is hiding a deep secret and trying to survive with her teenage daughter who has a bigger fish to fry.

But no one arrives in Diamond Hill by accident, and Buddha’s ties to this place run deeper than he is willing to admit. Can he make peace with his past and survive in this disappearing city?

Beautifully written and utterly compelling, Diamond Hill is a gorgeous love letter that perfectly captures a lost place, filled with unforgettable characters. If you love books by Hanya Yanagihara, Colm Tóibín and Ocean Vuong, you’ll adore this haunting and evocative novel.

What people are saying about Diamond Hill:

The best debut I’ve read in ages… A glorious luminosity to the writing and the reading experience is rather like looking into a kaleidoscope and giving it several twirls.’ Cathy Rentzenbrink

‘A gripping and highly accomplished debut… A thoroughly enjoyable and profound exploration of powerlessness, identity and the evolution of a city.’ Guardian

‘Fan is an exuberant chronicler of a lost time and place… It’s a timely consideration of Hong Kong’s recent past.’ The Times

‘An exhilarating and original tale, Diamond Hill marks award-winning Fan as a writer to watch.’ Cosmopolitan

‘Fan creates a textured, unsettled portrait of a territory facing a decisive ending… The dark drama that unfolds is an elegy to that vanished vanishing world.’ The Wall Street Journal

Gleams with pleasurable insights… Memorable moments are sketched by a poet’s hand.’ South China Morning Post

Deeply evocative… Engaging, provocative, thoroughly compelling, Diamond Hill is written with the dexterity and lyricality of a poet, whose first novel leaves us excited for what may come next.’ Yorkshire Times

‘Fan resurrects the neighbourhood as it would have looked in 1987, a decade before Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China – a precarious maze of shacks and open gutters, shaken constantly by the rumblings of the planes flying close overhead from nearby Kai Tak Airport.’ The Straits Times

‘Fan deftly mixes the sacred with the profane, often on the same page. Just when you decide there’s no room for holiness amid the wreckage, you realize there may in fact be no other option.’ Kirkus Reviews

‘Fan’s evocative debut portrays a Hong Kong in transition… and brings poetic language and moving tributes to descriptions of the lost neighbourhood. The novel’s aching beauty makes an effective argument for remembering.’ Publishers Weekly

Diamond Hill breathes beauty… Kit Fan skilfully weaves a story of loss and of being lost; a story of tragic mistakes, which haunts the reader long after the final page has been turned.’ Okechukwu Nzelu

‘Raw and authentic Hong Kong writing at its best. This book is exceptionally good.’ Chris Thrall

Reviews

An exhilarating and original tale, Diamond Hill marks award-winning Fan as a writer to watch
Cosmopolitan
Deeply evocative... Engaging, provocative, thoroughly compelling, Diamond Hill is written with the dexterity and lyricality of a poet, whose first novel leaves us excited for what may come next
Yorkshire Times
Diamond Hill breathes beauty. Through quiet prose that speaks eloquently for itself, Kit Fan skilfully weaves a story of loss and of being lost; a story of tragic mistakes, which haunts the reader long after the final page has been turned
Okechukwu Nzelu, author of The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney
Immediately engaging and dynamic and with an eye for an image that could only belong to a poet
Andrew McMillan
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
Guardian
Raw and authentic Hong Kong writing at its best. This book is exceptionally good
Chris Thrall
Fan resurrects the neighbourhood as it would have looked in 1987, a decade before Britain's handover of Hong Kong to China - a precarious maze of shacks and open gutters, shaken constantly by the rumblings of the planes flying close overhead from nearby Kai Tak Airport
The Straits Times
Gleams with pleasurable insights... Memorable moments are sketched by a poet's hand
South China Morning Post
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
A vivid, powerful portrait of a vanishing world
David Nicholls
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
Fan's evocative debut portrays a Hong Kong in transition... and brings poetic language and moving tributes to descriptions of the lost neighbourhood. The novel's aching beauty makes an effective argument for remembering
Publishers Weekly
Fan deftly mixes the sacred with the profane, often on the same page. Just when you decide there's no room for holiness amid the wreckage, you realize there may in fact be no other option
Kirkus Reviews
Fan creates a textured, unsettled portrait of a territory facing a decisive ending. The ethical conflict lies in whether to exploit the inevitable destruction . . . or commit to small, doomed acts of salvation. The dark drama that unfolds is an elegy to that vanished vanishing world
Wall Street Journal
Kit Fan's admirable debut novel Diamond Hill gives us the heart and soul of Hong Kong. Fan captures, with profound empathy, the temporary and precarious nature of the city. His motley crew-a former heroin addict, Buddhist nuns and prostitutes who have fallen from grace, a teenage gangster girl who runs a triad drug operation, among others-inhabit their Kowloon village before time destroys it . . . Despite disappearance and destiny, memory preserves the city's past along with the Cantonese language in all its rich expressiveness and slang. We look forward to more from this author.
XU XI, author of Habit of a Foreign Sky, The Unwalled City, Dear Hong Kong, Insignificance: Hong Kong Stories