Birthday dinner in the dark

For the last few years, Heart Guy and I have taken to celebrating my birthday in Vietnam. Birthdays are about celebrating the “newness” of life. Every year therefore, we try to experience something new, be it a part of the country we haven’t visited or a cuisine we haven’t tried. One year, we squatted at a … Continue reading

Heart Nine Cuts has been reviewed by Yeo Wei Wei

Yeo Wei Wei has just reviewed my short story collection Heart Nine Cuts in The Straits Times Book Page. Here’s the review: ———– The theme of hunting appears in epigraphs scattered through the volume. Hunting for stories in dark places is one way to summarise Singapore Literature Prize shortlisted novelist Audrey Chin’s collection of nine short stories. … Continue reading

This Palm Sunday I didn’t go to church

On Palm Sunday, the church commemorates the triumphant entry into Jerusalem of a would be king who would ultimately be killed for daring to say he was the son of god.  Most years, on Palm Sunday, I go to church, pick up my palm leaf and wave it along with the crowd. Most years, on Palm … Continue reading

Homelessness? Or a kind of freedom?

We have been in Vietnam for a week now, the first few days in the new family home in the Delta. The new home, housing the family altar with my in-laws’ ashes, is a modern grey and white villa near the lower branch of Mekong River.  It’s comfortable and airy with a small fountain and newly … Continue reading

Immensely grateful to be a daughter of Singapore

It may be unfashionable but I’m shouting it out anyway –  It’s good being a daughter of Singapore. It’s something to be immensely grateful for. I had flown from the Little Red Dot to the North Eastern USA for a wedding and then a book reading in Virginia. Unexpectedly, my country offered me a launch in their … Continue reading

It’s Sunday: Tiger Moms and Cubs need rest too

On the 7th day HE rested. I need a rest. So does my kid. It’s been a little too much – the travels, the back-to-back meetings the week after, all those posts I just had to get out about the trip, the extra coaching I’ve had to give Youngest (who didn’t learn about words till … Continue reading

Reading in Myanmar: Text and sub-text

I was reading in Myanmar. It was my time, my panel appearance at the Irrawaddy Literary Festival with Canadian literary prodigy Karen Connelly. We were to be speaking about my novel As the Heart Bones Break. We ended up speaking about Myanmar. Not of course in so many words… But as I learnt last week … Continue reading

In Myanmar: Union Day among the Karen

I spent February 12, Myanmar’s Union Day, among the Karen. Union Day celebrates the signing of the Panglong Agreement between the majority Burmans and the minority ethnics to struggle together for an independent Union of Burma. The meaning of Union remains contested among the minorities. Indeed the Mon and Karen minorities were not even original signatories. But … Continue reading

Myanmar: A Karen Landscape

I stole 2 days before the Irrawaddy Literary festival to visit Karen State and Mon State in South Eastern Myanmar. Here are my first impressions of Karen State, from the initial sight of Zwekabin Mountain (the state landmark), past a village to Hpa An, the state capital situated on the banks of the great Salween River. Pictures … Continue reading

Talking about Heart Bones on National Critics Choice

Here’s National Critics Choice’s video of the book chat about As the Heart Bones Break at Select Books