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