Diamond Hill

Diamond Hill

Kit Fan
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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. Diamond Hill was once the ' Hollywood of the Orient' , butisnow an eyesore in the middle of a glitzy financial hub. Buddhist nuns, drug gangs, property developers, the government and foreign powersare all vying for power, each wanting to stake their claim on the land. 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.
Raw and authentic Hong Kong writing at its best. This book is exceptionally good -- Chris Thrall An exhilarating and original tale, Diamond Hill marks award-winning Fan as a writer to watch * Cosmopolitan * 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 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 A vivid, powerful portrait of a vanishing world -- David Nicholls
Kit Fan was born in Hong Kong and moved to the UK at the age of 21. In 2017 and 2018 he was shortlisted for the Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize for ' Duty Free' and ' City of Culture' . He was shortlisted for the TLS Mick Imlah Poetry Prize 2017. His first book of poems Paper Scissors Stone won the inaugural HKU International Poetry Prize in 2011 and his translation of Classical Chinese poetry won one of the Times Stephen Spender Prizes in 2006. He studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong before completing a PhD on Thom Gunn at the University of York. His second book of poems As Slow As Possible was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Autumn 2018. He lives and works in York.