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Justine Mann

 

Justine has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She is a prize-winning short story writer (the Bridport Prize; and Fish magazine) and has been published in various new writing anthologies. She lives in Norwich with her partner and son. Her first novel follows Mei-Li, a Chinese illegal immigrant, and Regan, a Londoner trying to make sense of her partnerís sudden death, in the murky aftermath of the Morecambe Bay Tragedy.

 

Justine Mann

Books

 

Cargo

'So,' Baba said, his spoon still dipping into his bowl, 'your son's made you proud, Lin?'

'Beyond proud, Bo. Really. He's become a man of real character.'

'How long's he been gone?'

'Three years. The days I speak to him, it seems longer.'

'And he's made a good life in the UK?'

'Undoubtedly.' Big Lin pushed his bowl away. 'The stories he tells me make my head explode. Do you know that when he arrived his first job was in a place called Chinatown. Two or three streets that cross one another and every restaurant and shop Chinese.' Lin held his fingers up to demonstrate the layout of the streets. 'English people come there and they can't get enough of Chinese food. Every day they come out of their office and eat there. For your ginger soup, Mei-Li, they would pay a lot... Anyway, now he says there is more money in fishing. So he's taken himself to the north of the country, to a huge sea bed between England and Ireland. It's stuffed with cockles. Men are making themselves rich there. He's been there for a few months and his pay has more than doubled. The masters collect the fish from Chen and his friends and they take them on to a refrigerated lorry and drive them straight to Spain. The Spaniards can't get enough of these cockles in their rice dishes, apparently.'

When Mei-Li decides to shoulder her family's financial burden she finds herself in a dark and dangerous world which leads her from China to the underworld of illegal immigrants in the UK.

 

Ali Lewis