July 2019 Fiction & Entertainment Awards Backlist

Pink Mountain on Locust Island Jamie Marina Lau

Longlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize

Shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2019 for The UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing

Shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction

Winner of the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature's Readings

Shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal 2019

Jamie Marina Lau is one of Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelists 2019

An unpredictable and innovative debut novel from a provocative new voice in Australian fiction. Embracing the noir tradition and featuring a prose style quite unlike any before, with references that will go both over your head and under your feet, Pink Mountain on Locust Island will flip readers upside down and turn your understanding of the world around around. Modernity, art, family, gender, drugs, music, adolescence, business, religion, internet cafes, food, strangers, aesthetics, vacations, fashion, desires, dreams, expectations, brown couches.

Pink Mountain on Locust Island is:

a) a subterranean noir of the most electronic generation – the pinkwhite bursts of a teenaged nomad;

b) a fizzing of the New Wave underground art province, with its melting pot of noise bands and Phife, amnesiac and digitalised bossa novas, and art installations about art installations;

c) a 24-hour yank between pulverised English, elastic Cantonese and the newest, digitalised dialect of transcultural landscapes;

d) a short novel narrated among the lumps of Monk's daydreams, her violent, claustrophobic encounters, and her staccato movements through a hyperreal pop culture world that could only belong to our 21st century;

e) all of the above.

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.

'Pink Mountain on Locust Island is bright, funny, and tender. Jamie Marina Lau's surreal and self-possessed prose reads like a teenage daydream.' — 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.' — Jackie Smith 

'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