Rose Lu

All Who Live on Islands


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Paperback, 138x210mm, 240 pages

All Who Live on Islands introduces a bold new voice in New Zealand literature. In these intimate and entertaining essays, Rose Lu takes us through personal history – a shopping trip with her Shanghai-born grandparents, her career in the Wellington tech industry, an epic hike through the Himalayas – to explore friendship, the weight of stories told and not told about diverse cultures, and the reverberations of our parents’ and grandparents’ choices. Frank and compassionate, Rose Lu’s stories illuminate the cultural and linguistic questions that migrants face, as well as what it is to be a young person living in 21st-century Aotearoa New Zealand.

'All Who Live on Islands is fabulous. What's striking is how assured Lu's voice is and how confidently she traverses big issues, like race, class, gender and belonging. From an immigrant perspective, it was at times painful for how recognisable it was.' —Brannavan Gnanalingam

'Thank God for this collection. Attentive and thrillingly expansive, like getting to have yum cha after a long fast.' —Rosabel Tan

'Although no one ends up becoming a doctor, Lu's prose is a coolly handled blade, dissecting the viscera of her life. There is fat, muscle, bone and shit, although a disappointing lack of farts. The food porn is, frankly, obscene. Lu's collection is an important and necessary layer in the pile of shedded skins and other human detritus forming the history of our people in this country.' —Tze Ming Mok

'In these poignant and insightful essays, she reveals the struggles of immigrants, the daily abuse they encounter and the wall of ignorance and indifference we erect between Kiwis and newcomers.' —Steve Walker, Your Weekend

Rose Lu is a Wellington-based writer. In 2018 she gained her Masters of Arts in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters and was awarded the Modern Letters Creative Nonfiction Prize. Her work has been published in Sport, The Pantograph Punch, Turbine Kapohau and Mimicry. Her undergraduate degree was in mechatronics engineering, and she has worked as a software developer since 2012.

Cover design: Sharon Lam

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