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The Heartsick Diaspora, and other stories


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About the Author

Elaine Chiew edited and contributed to Cooked Up: Food Fiction From Around the World (New Internationalist, 2015). She contributed to One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories (New Internationalist 2009), adopted on scores of modern literature courses. She is twice winner of the Bridport Short Story Competition, and her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies in the UK, US and Singapore. Originally from Malaysia, she graduated from Stanford Law School and worked as a lawyer in New York and Hong Kong before moving to the UK to study at Goldsmiths, University of London. She lives in Singapore.


'Innovative in format and original in content, The Heartsick Diaspora is clever, multilayered, challenging and political. It's also full of verve and wit.' Monica Ali 'These are stories to savour like the fine food they describe. Sharply observed, funny, sad and entertaining, they leave you more knowledgeable about the world we live in. I loved this book.' Paul McVeigh; 'The Heartsick Diaspora is an unflinching examination of the hybrid and hyphenated lives of global nomads, shining a bright light on Singaporean-Chinese voices, but also the larger Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese diaspora. It is philosophical and poetic in turns, and stories like 'Face' and 'The Heartsick Diaspora' and 'Mapping Three Lives' are absolutely stunning. Memorably populated with characters who linger in the mind long after the last story ends, this book is a truly impressive debut, full of humour and heart.' Dipika Mukherjee; 'A spectacular read! What a handsome showcase of the consummate storyteller Elaine Chiew. Hers is a winning voice, working in pathos with great elan. We become witness to such a rich understanding of human emotion and desire. Elaine lets scene and character speak for themselves, with such self-assured perspicacity.' Desmond Kon Zhicheng-mingde; 'In The Heartsick Diaspora, Elaine Chiew allows us to visit a breadth of experiences among Chinese migrant communities, both past and present. The range of the emotional worlds of the characters represented in the book is depicted in fragments, echoing the disjointed, often repressed manner in which many of the immigrant families communicate with one another. The stories do an outstanding job of capturing an atmosphere that is recognisable, but presented in fresh tales to engage the mind and heart of the reader, even as they entertain. It is a brilliant first collection by Chiew, marking her as a writer to be watched' Shelly Bryant; 'Elaine Chiew's short stories are hugely incisive. Here is a satisfying mix of poignancy and humour, light and dark-an unforgettable journey into the hearts and minds of the displaced. Chiew brings original and multiple award-winning skills to great effect in these sparklingly intelligent explorations of identity and displacement. The added charge in Chiew's work comes from her impressive range-her clever, nuanced and varied stories are perfectly balanced.' Vanessa Gebbie

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