Ten Things My Father Never Taught Me and Other Stories by Cyril Wong


Chiefly character-driven, Ten Things My Father Never Taught Me and Other Stories by Cyril Wong takes us to the highs and lows of life in Singapore. We feel a spectrum of emotions throughout the collection as a child deals with a loss of a family member; a movie ticket clerk dines with a wealthy woman he just met; a philanthropist reminisces his journeys in charity work; and a single mother pilfers a pair of pants for his son, among others.

In “Susan’s Certainty,” a story where a woman ventures into introspection brought about by experiencing different forms of art, Wong writes: “All of these things connected with her, releasing a surge of emotional fulfillment […] leaving her dazed and relieved that someone had articulated her private miseries through art.” This seemingly cements Wong’s goal with this collection; he paints the foil of Singapore’s hustle and bustle—a city where individuals dwell with uncertainty, crises, and loneliness.

Wong wrote most of the stories as fictional while some are saliently autobiographical. But, there is noticeable poetry in his fiction in the way it carefully magnifies beautiful, strange, moving, and poignant imagery in the lives of his characters.

[Cover art from Epigram Books.]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s