The violence of routine

Jamie Marina Lau's audacious new novel
by
May 2021, no. 431
Buy this book

Gunk Baby by Jamie Marina Lau

Hachette, $32.99 pb, 346 pp

The violence of routine

Jamie Marina Lau's audacious new novel
by
May 2021, no. 431

Go to any suburban shopping centre and you will find a metropolis of consumption. ‘Buy, buy, buy’, it screeches, whether you are contemplating fast-fashion T-shirts, new-age solutions to age-old problems, or services and pampering you don’t really need, all in the harsh glare of white lights and a controlled climate, temperature just right. The shopping centre, uniform and tidy, is where you can get everything you’ve ever wanted while also getting nothing at all.

This is the setting of Jamie Marina Lau’s second novel, Gunk Baby. It follows Leen, a twenty-four-year-old woman who opens an ear-cleaning business in the Topic Heights shopping complex, nestled between display homes in the fictional US suburb of Par Mars. The traditional Chinese practice has been adopted from her mother; Leen aims to introduce it to a Western audience hungry for cultural exchange.

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen reviews 'Gunk Baby' by Jamie Marina Lau

Gunk Baby

by Jamie Marina Lau

Hachette, $32.99 pb, 346 pp

Buy this book

From the New Issue

Comments (3)

  • Excellent. A compelling read. What a polished reviewer and writer Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen is.
    Posted by EV Ratnam
    10 May 2021
  • What a pointless piece of writing. If that is a true description of the entity/entities labelled 'millennials', humanity is indeed doomed.
    Posted by Susan PRIESTLEY
    10 May 2021
  • Brilliant!
    Posted by Barbara Zitwer
    30 April 2021

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