Pier 9, Murdoch Books Australia, 2008
Delta, Random USA, 2009
There is no room for another time. The hut is too small even for the present. Life must be squeezed to pocket size, breath must be kept spare, so there's enough left for the next day, so the walls hold up. Be frugal where life is fragile. Tears are an imposition here.
Ten-year old Noland, a mute lantern maker, imagines an angel falling from the sky to the slums where he lives. But it is only an American tourist caught in a drive-by shooting of a political journalist. At a busy intersection in Manila, the magical and the seedy collide: shimmering lanterns and poverty, Christmas carols and prostitution, dreams of friendship and the global war on terror. This raw and hard-hitting tale of our times is delicately spare in its prose, with room for silences.