Fired from his job and dumped by his girlfriend, Taiwanese-British photographer Sean flies to Taipei to seek oblivion. Lost in the neon heat of his parents' homeland, though, all he finds is alienation. He spends his days sleeping feverishly in a bleak hotel bedroom, and his nights alternating between casual sex and a crappy striplit doughnut bar. Whatever he thought Taiwan would give him, it hasn’t worked: he feels as distanced and resentful of his heritage as he ever has.
Then, a chance encounter with a mysterious older man draws him into a friendship where the terms of engagement are quickly, ominously blurred. For every tentative step towards connection, Sean’s grasp on reality unravels, as the demands of the past and the present begin to take their toll. As events draw to a disturbing head, Sean’s mind spirals, until he’s not sure what’s left of him at all.
Appealing to fans of Boy Parts and Luster, I’m New Here is a thrilling, hallucinatory debut and masterclass in unreliable narration that positions Ian Russell-Hsieh as one of the most exciting new authors in the UK.
Ian Russell-Hsieh is a Taiwanese-British writer and journalist. Specialising in culture and lifestyle, he is a regular contributor to Mr Porter, and his work has also appeared in Guardian, Dazed, Highsnobiety and others. He lives in Cornwall with his wife and their two kids. I'm New Here is his first novel.
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