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Black Books Matter - some recommended reading

Some of you don't have black people in your lives, and those of us who do still might not really understand all the ways their lives may differ to ours, to yours.
Books provide insight. Books offer a way into worlds that look quite like ours but aren't. Books are a path towards empathy. If we can empathize with the lives of fictional characters we can at least partially imagine ourselves into the shoes of those whose lives these fictional accounts reflect.
I often worry that I read too many US-based writers and I've been making deliberate efforts to change that. I've said this before - for a country that only counts for 3.5% of the world's population its cultural weight is disproportionate, so many, but not all of these books are from US authors. I'm also just focusing on books by black authors written in countries where they are not in the majority.
I've written elsewhere about my theory that the systemic barriers within the publishing industry mean that any…

My book review of Tash Aw's novel We, The Survivors by Tash featured in the Writing Malaysia issue of Cha

My review of Tash Aw's novel We, the Survivors, is featured in the “Writing Malaysia” issue of Cha
“There are only rich Chinese, and potentially rich Chinese,” writes Malaysian author Brian Gomez in his short story “Mud,” featured in Fixi Novo’s 2013 anthology KL Noir. While the remark is meant to be taken as tongue in cheek, it underlines the common perception that Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese community is...read more




Bedclothes for Beckett - a new short story, featured on The Blue Nibs

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I'm delighted to have my short story Bedclothes for Beckett featured on The Blue Nibs


Stan and me - new short story featured on Pendemic

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I wrote a little lockdown story called Stan and Me, inspired by two of my more unusual neighbours and the Alan Bennett plays I've been listening to lately. 

You can read it on the Pendemic website


Two stories in Telltale Food

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It's an honour to have two pieces featured in Telltale Food, an anthology of food writing that was launched last week at the 2019 George Town Literary Festival.

The collection covers three years and shares many of the submissions for the Fay Khoo award. 

One of my stories included is called Escargots de Bourgogne and relates the pitfalls of assuming too much, whether in cooking or life, and is based on a period I spent on a tiny farm in Burgundy more than thirty years ago.

The second piece is called the Taste of Paradise and is more humourous - or at least that was my intention. It is about coconuts, the salacious advertisements that used to feature on Irish television when I was a teenager in the 1980s, and my now regular consumption of coconuts as a staple of the tropical life I've been leading for the last 15 years.

The launch was great fun and all the contributors present received chopsticks and metal straws and copies of the book and the talented Foo May Lyn treated the audie…

My latest contribution to Mekong Review

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Read my latest contribution to Mekong Review here