At the Straits Times (ST) Book Club’s first fiction e book dialogue on Wednesday night time, Stephanie Suga Chen shared the inspiration and humorous tales behind her novel, Travails Of A Trailing Spouse.
The Taiwanese-American author drew from her personal experiences for the light-hearted have a look at the lives of expatriate wives in Singapore.
In 2012, she gave up her funding banker profession to observe her neuroscientist husband to Singapore. It was a tough transition as Chen, 38, went from “wearing the pants in the family… to a very stereotypical role of a household wife”.
She felt very unfulfilled and sad as a result of she largely stayed home to look after her two youngsters. It was a buddy who advised her to “get it together and quit complaining” that pushed her to get into writing.
She additionally recalled among the challenges she confronted as an expatriate, similar to mastering Singlish.
“I struggled sometimes with just getting understood, like calling and scheduling cleaning for the air-conditioning and then completely not being understood at all.”
In distinction together with her battle to slot in, her then four-year-old daughter had no issues settling in and making mates.
“When my husband and I made a bet on who would get invited over to a local person’s place first, it was our daughter who won.”
An viewers member requested if she spoke Hokkien and Chen mentioned her fluency in it confused many individuals as a result of her American-accented English.
Some readers additionally requested whether or not the novel’s juicy content material, which incorporates marital affairs and pub brawls, was primarily based on real-life experiences. She mentioned that whereas some tales drew loosely on her experiences, others had been primarily based on “gossips which trailing wives just love to talk about”.
There was some criticism that the wealthy existence portrayed within the novel weren’t consultant of all expatriates in Singapore.
Chen mentioned it was not meant to be seen as a basic portrayal, however as a piece of fiction with “a bit of over-dramatisation”.
Colombian musician and aspiring author Alvaro Sanchez requested for recommendations on beginning a novel and Chen mentioned: “Just write, write and write. You just have to get writing.”
The subsequent e book membership session on June 27 will function Singapore, Disrupted, a compilation of essays by ST Opinion editor and political columnist Chua Mui Hoong on the specter of technological disruption, the category divide and political change in Singapore. Readers can register at str.sg/ofWM.