BW Issue 22
THE BW INSIDER: Dr Henry Tam
"Everyone has a stance on politics, even if it consists of no more than “I leave it to others to deal with political issues”, or “I don’t trust any politician so I have nothing to say about them”. The inescapable reality is that some people have more power than others, and unless society as a whole can make sure powers are exercised for people’s wellbeing, or at least not to exploit and oppress others, then the not-so-powerful will be at the fragile mercy of their tormentors.”
In Part 9 of The BW INSIDER series, we talk to Dr. Henry Benedict Tam - a respected author, professor and creator of political blog Question the Powerful. Dr Tam shares his wisdom with burgeoning political writers and talks about the crucial role political authors have in society.
THE BW INTERVIEW: Zen Cho
"I'd like people to return to my books when they feel the need for something to console or hearten or strengthen or cheer them. That's how I feel about my favourite authors."
Raised in Malaysia and living in London, Zen Cho is a lawyer by day and renowned fantasy fiction author by night. Although sometimes referred to as the "Poster girl for diversity," she would prefer to be known as "Zen Cho the author," transcending nationality and culture. BW talks with Zen about trials she has faced, influences on her writing, and tips for aspiring authors.
THE BW INTERVIEW: Sonny Liew
"The sheer diversity of human life means that what counts as important can be somewhat subjective, or at least a niche affair. But insofar as historical matters which can shape us and affect how we behave and think, then a more inclusive account would surely be a good thing."
Graphic novels are used as a powerful medium to convey history and politics. At the same time, they can ignite a new concept of history telling. Eisner Award nominated Sonny Liew talks to BW about his epic and somewhat controversial political graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye and why there is need to redeem Singapore’s ‘untold’ history.
THE BW INSIDER: Harry Mok
"You take from what you’ve done before to help you make future decisions. There’s never enough time, there’s always something that can be improved, so, you do the best you can with what you have."
In Part 10 of The BW INSIDER series,we interview Journalist and Social Media Manager Harry Mok, the former Editor-In-Chief of Hyphen Magazine. In the interview, we talk to him about his entire experience at Hyphen Magazine, the challenges that non-profit magazines face, and why he eventually decided to leave a successful venture.
We interview successful people in the publishing industry to help YOU in your journey as a Banana Writer
The Literary Agent
The MFA Guru
LATEST BW ASIAN WRITERS TO GET UNPEELED
"Who’s going to tell me a story set in Singapore with a protagonist named Mustafa or Mei-Jia? Don’t Asians fall in love, solve mysteries, and deal with conflicts? Don’t Asians have stories to tell too? Some of my students laughed; others shifted uncomfortably in their seats."
Read an eye-opening article about why it is important for Asian writers to be proud of their own stories.
Thoughts from a Banana Writer: Don't Asians Fall in Love Too?
BW Poetry: On a Chinese Chair & Other Poems
I had been thinking about time
and what one moment would contain,
if I opened to a single fleeting duration.
Read some poetry by a well travelled music teacher who has lived in Hong Kong and Nicaragua.
“Was it meant to be this difficult? Most days I failed to convince myself that it was, some days I turned to him to prove that it was not. He had a way of possessing me completely, I submitted wholeheartedly to his ideals although I pretended not to. He dragged me around like a puppeteer would to a decrepit piece of wood, with the strings around my neck, my heart and my mind.”
A compulsive read about mad love and revenge.
BW Short Story: A Sociopath’s Lesson on Greed
But I’m afraid to wake up in forty years and look in the mirror
only to hate the person living inside this skeleton
The person with ruptured bones and perished dreams
Read a pensive poem by a writer hailing from California.
BW Poetry: Skeletons in the Closet
‘Her Majesty’s government is in favour of independence for Miraucia – ’
‘This is a sell-out!’ Surcouffe exploded and started to shout, calling the British government all sorts of names. His fellow delegates’ attempt to restrain him proved futile and eventually two ushers had to step in to have him escorted out.
‘All right, all right,’ he pushed them away, ‘I’m walking out of this conference. I’m boycotting it.’
Read the first chapter of the new politically charged novel by Mauritian Chinese author Jacques K Lee.
BW Novel: East of Africa South of India
Their blades met again, hilts locked.
"He was tall, strong, could have been a good worker. But he wouldn’t listen, wouldn’t do a thing I tell him. Then word came to me that you started a rebellion." He leered at her. "For that, I cut off his head."
Read an exciting short story about blood and war by a new Vietnamese-American writer.
BW Short Story: March of the Elephants
BW Novel: Busha
Before I could think of the next step, I was pushed again by an officer. I ambled backwards to regain my balance, which was restored by a person whom I bumped against on my way down. As I struggled to regain my footing, I grabbed the arm of the person who broke my fall. As I stood up to thank the person, my eyes nearly popped.
“You!” that person gasped.
Read some sample chapters of a novel set against the fascinating backdrop of the military coup against Thaksin Shinawatra in Thailand.