The suburbs of Par Mars. Two shopping centres, rows of estates and thematically designed neighbourhoods. Twenty-four-year-old Leen is going to open an ear-cleaning and massage studio in the Topic Heights Shopping Centre, taking her mother's Chinese ritual to the West to bring people back to their bodies.
But something is not quite right in Par Mars. Managers are being attacked, and when Leen befriends Jean Paul, a pharmacist who is obsessed with a cryptic online forum, she finds herself involved in a community that is intent on disrupting the routines of capitalism in increasingly troubling ways. With a fierce intellect and masterful storytelling, Jamie Marina Lau brings to life a world that is devastatingly close to our own.
Taking aim at consumerism and class, orientalism and the Zen movement, violence and middle-class boredom, GUNK BABY is inventive, unforgettable and from a voice younger, newer and more critical than most.
'A tender horror story, all the more haunting for being so familiar. Lau's voice is cool, precise yet unfailingly human, taking aim at mall culture, work culture and consumer culture, and revealing them as excuses we whisper to ourselves as we lurch slowly towards a luxurious void' Roisin Kiberd, author of The Disconnect
'Jamie Marina Lau's sensibility is elliptical and it is unique; here is a new existence among the malls of instant consumerism' Alan Warner
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