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Chinese Fish by Grace Yee shortlisted for Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards
Grace Yee’s debut collection Chinese Fish has been shortlisted in the Poetry category for the 2024 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
Wrote the judges:
Chinese Fish switches between lyric, dramatic and documentary poetic forms, to tell a multi-generational tale of the Chin family’s migration from Hong Kong to Aotearoa New Zealand. Yee focuses on women’s experience; particularly, how migration tests the relationship between a mother and her daughter. She tells this story with sparkling humour, wit, and stylistic verve, while paying sustained attention to historical circumstance – particularly everyday racism and the discriminatory government policies which affected Chinese migrants. Characters’ voices are interwoven with archival text and scholarly observations. Cantonese-Taishanese characters, peppered throughout the dialogue, enhance a reader’s connection to this fictive family and their past. We were impressed by how intelligently Chinese Fish braids its modes and forms, its feminist vision, and its literary and conceptual sophistication.
The winners will be announced on Thursday 1 February 2024 at a ceremony in Melbourne.
In the awards’ Fiction category, Max Easton’s second novel Paradise Estate was also Highly Commended.