Diamond Hill

The price of development and the burden of loss

It is 1987 and three years since Britain signed the Joint Declaration agreeing to hand over its last colony, Hong Kong, to China 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. Kit Fan’s hard-hitting and exhilarating debut is a requiem for a disappearing city, as well as a meditation on powerlessness, religion, memory, and displacement.

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Publication date

May, 2021




Kit Fan

Kit Fan was born in Hong Kong and moved to the UK at the age of twenty-one. In 2017 and 2018 he was shortlisted for the Guardian 4th Estate BAME … Read more

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Praise for Diamond Hill

“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

“Raw and authentic Hong Kong. Writing at its best. This book is exceptionally good.”
CHRIS THRALL, bestselling author of Eating Smoke

“I enjoyed Diamond Hill very much. It’s fantastically evocative of a time and place, full of vivid images but never at the expense of story. A hugely impressive first novel.”
DAVID NICHOLLS, bestselling author of One Day and Us

“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. They are familiar figures who embody the very contradiction of being a 香港人 regardless of class, culture or even race. 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 許素細, author of Habit of a Foreign Sky, The Unwalled City, Dear Hong Kong, Insignificance: Hong Kong Stories

“An extraordinary book. I can’t remember reading something so terrifying, amazing, moving, and complicatedly fascinating. The characters brand themselves immediately and we know them completely and not at all. The interweaving of the political and the private is startling. It makes such a complete world and shows you how precarious complete worlds are.”
ADAM PHILLIPS, author of Attention Seeking and Becoming Freud

Diamond Hill is dramatic yet subtle, global yet local, historical yet contemporary, and in Kit Fan’s hand the world, its character, and the politics of Diamond Hill soar majestically.”