Olivia, a Young Persian, with her
Even Our Cats Arise from Ancient Diasporas
“The Heartsick Diaspora”. - The Title Story from The Debut Collection by Elaine Chiew - 2020
As of now I have over 200 collections of Short Stories on my E Reader. Many have been kindly given to me to possibly feature on my blog, easily six thousand potential stories to read. My now posting for 8th time on a Short Story from The Heartsick Diaspora by Elaine Chiew is as clear a demonstration i can give of my admiration of her work.
Like several of the other stories, “The Heartsick Diaspora” focuses on women from Singapore now living in London. In the stories we see Singapore was built upon Diasporas from India, Malaysia and China. The Malaysians from Singapore often see themselves as a mixture of Malay and Chinese heritage.
There are four women in a writers group, each from Singapore, each wanting to clearly establish their background. The male moderator takes them into various places in London to write. Some of the stories sound like early versions of stories in the collection. I sensed Chiew was having fun in this story.
The dynamics of the group change when a handsome man joins the meetings. Chiew relays part of the story as if were a play.
I am reading the collection as an E book. I prefer E Reading for several reasons. The Penquin Books Print Editions is beautiful, a book anyone would be proud to have in their library. I have been reading Penquin books since way back and I enjoyed seeing the Penquin on this wonderful collection.
I look foward to posting on remaining works in The Heartsick Diaspora. With hysteria abounding in the World now about immigrants these stories should help us see how much Diasporas have shaped history.
Elaine is a writer and a visual arts researcher, and editor of Cooked Up: Food Fiction From Around the World (New Internationalist, 2015).
Twice winner of the Bridport Short Story Competition, she has published numerous stories in anthologies in the UK, US and Singapore.
Originally from Malaysia, Chiew graduated from Stanford Law School and worked as a corporate securities lawyer in New York and Hong Kong before studying for an MA in Asian Art History at Lasalle College of the Arts Singapore, a degree conferred by Goldsmiths, University of London.