On May 7th at noon Eastern, Kit Fan talks with Jennifer Lau about his hard-hitting and exhilarating debut novel, Diamond Hill (May 4, 2021), a requiem for a disappearing city, as well as a meditation on powerlessness, religion, memory, and displacement.
About the book: It is 1987 and the waning years of British rule descend over Hong Kong with a mix of fear and excitement as one world power is eclipsed for another, eager to take its place and to make the city Chinese once again. In the Joint Declaration, Britain reluctantly hands over its last colony which would revert to Chinese rule starting fully in 1997. With that declaration comes the promise that the city will remain unchanged for fifty years. But upheaval is already happening in Diamond Hill. Once the “Hollywood of the Orient,” it is now a shanty town and an eyesore right in the middle of a glitzy financial hub. Buddha, a recovering heroin addict, returns home to find the shabby neighborhood being bulldozed to make room for gleaming towers. Buddhist nuns, drug gangs, property developers, the government and foreign powers each have itchy palms, and all want a piece of Diamond Hill.
This event is part of TPL’s Asian Heritage series.