Review: Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au

Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica AU (New Directions 2022)

Reviewed by Hannah Wyatt

I recently read Jessica Au’s Cold Enough for Snow—a meditation-style novella that blurs the line between interior monologue and impressionism. As the narrator travels through Tokyo with her mother, she contemplates her love for art and Greek drama, the reality of her memories, and the distance between parent and child. Separation is explored in the resentment and shame the narrator feels towards her own cultural duality, as well as the ways in which she imagines her mother’s own cultural experience following her move away from Hong Kong. Themes of place, art, and literature are explored, and so is the concept of taking up space (and a lack thereof). By the end of the story, I was left with a great sense of dreaminess and wonder, questions about the transferral of parental identity, and a fondness for Au’s storytelling.

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Review: Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau

Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau (Coffee House Press 2020)

Reviewed by Alicia Banaszewski

Asian-Australian author Jamie Marina Lau’s debut novel Pink Mountain on Locust Island published by Brow Books was shortlisted for Australia’s prestigious Stella Prize in 2019. It opens with a short chapter titled “Panther” that immediately throws the readers into Melbourne’s Chinatown and introduces the narrator’s father.

“On television a panther slicking its black limbs through paradise trees. Holy moly, look at this fur.

The third story of a Chinatown flat, and here the timber walls tighten around the fat Chinese man with a noodle moustache. A muddy bottle in his hand.”

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