Readers of the short stories will be taken from fast-transforming concrete Singapore, wild Malaysian forests to rough African seas through waves of episodes and narratives that women can readily identify with.
These are triggered by life changing events that elicit these emotions or state of mind: loss, regret, longing, lust, love, sensuality, infidelity, hope, courage, mysticism, wildness, social unrest, refuge seeking and more. The stories depict the multifarious social fabric of Singapore and Malaysia, aspects of humanity, the relevance of the environment and climate change on our everyday lives.
No matter what the ordeal, the women in these stories are never totally fazed by life’s thrashings, hence the title She Never Looks Quite Back was taken from a poetic verse by D.H. Lawrence.
Bird Watching captures a woman’s panic from a perceived threat in Cameron Highlands, and upon fleeing, plunges into the depths of her existential being that is at the mercy of nature. The Liquid Goalie tells the arduous struggle of a young Gambian sportswoman on a refugee boat headed for Europe—a fictionalised true story. Ode to Joy brings back a forgotten tune and along with it the scars of surviving the Japanese Occupation in Singapore. A Bar Joke and Alone They Were reveal a woman’s internal conflicts as she fights her own demons to embrace new beginnings. Readers will appreciate the nostalgic value of Five Cents in the shoes of a female cabbie that has been left behind Singapore’s miracle economic progress. Weep Me a River, Stuck in a Moment and Look at the Sky capture the deep sorrow and regret that often come with relationships and life’s cruel dealings. A housewife reminisces the influences of people behind the spices she puts together in The Art of Making An Authentic South Indian Chicken Curry (But Not on April Fool’s Day). The Swirl functions as a mystical epilogue of what it is for a woman to never look back even in the most extraordinary circumstance… because of women’s unquenchable thirst for the unknown.
Published by Penguin Random House SEA on 14 December 2021.
Get a copy now from your local bookstore or online platforms such as Amazon Books, and leave a review there! If you’d like a signed copy, get it here. Do contact her by email to give her feedback/review of the stories too. She’d appreciate it!
(Cover illustration and design by Meena Rajasekaran.)