By Jamie Marina Lau
The brand new novel from the Stella Prize shortlisted author of PINK MOUNTAIN ON LOCUST ISLAND.
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Gunk Baby is inventive, confronting and unforgettable.
Throughout a childhood spent moving between different countries, one thing was constant for Leen. The local shopping centre. Within those complexes the familiar landscape of logos, the bright lights, the climate controlled environment and the interactions between workers and customers never changed. It all looked shiny, new and tidy – on the surface.
So, when it feels like the same day for far too long, Leen decides to open a healing studio – ear-cleaning, massage and cupping – for her, the Par Mars Topic Heights shopping complex is the perfect location to build a business. A place where you can smell summer even if it happens to be winter. Here, Leen thinks she is making connections. Just like in the ancient Chinese art of ear-cleaning taught to her by her mother, she thinks what you can’t see, you trust someone else to be able to. But what if you trust the wrong person? And what if that person is not looking to heal but to destroy?
With a fierce intellect and masterful storytelling, Jamie Marina Lau brings to life a world that is devastatingly close to our own. A world where consumerism drives us to buy things we don’t need, where otherness can be used to manipulate, where a person’s worth is measured by the role they play or the way they look and where protective services isn’t about protecting others from violence but viciously punishing those who step outside the lines. Gunk Baby is inventive, confronting and unforgettable.