Shortlisted for: 2011 Costa First Novel Award
Kingston, 1938. Fourteen-year-old Yang Pao steps off the ship from China with his mother and brother, after his father has died fighting for the revolution. They are to live with Zhang, the godfather of Chinatown, who mesmerises Pao with stories of glorious Chinese socialism on one hand, and the reality of his protection business on the other.
When Pao takes over the familys affairs he becomes a powerful man. He sets his sights on marrying well, but when Gloria Campbell, a black prostitute, comes to him for help he is drawn to her beauty and strength. As the political violence escalates in the 1960s, the lines between Paos socialist ideals and private ambitions become blurred.
Jamaica is transforming, the tides of change are rising, and the one-time boss of Chinatown finds himself cast adrift.
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