Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Shirley's Sad Stories

Shirley Geok-Lim certainly has some uncomfortable baggage. In an interview for The Straits Times with Kristina Tom* she admits :
... that her most vivid childhood memories 'are not happy ones'. Her mother abandoned her family when she was a child to work in Singapore and her father's financial irresponsibility caused the family to lose their home.

'We barely had one meal a day,' she recalls.

Displacement, she says, was the common theme of her childhood, whether it was moving from home to home, trying to fit in as the only girl among five brothers, or living what she calls the life of a second-class citizen growing up in a Peranakan family in Malacca.

Those memories still haunt her during her yearly visits with family in Malaysia. ...
And now there are other family problems. Her novel Sister Swing :
... is dedicated to her only child Gershom Bazerman, 25, who is also a writer in New York, but she doubts if he has read it.

'Everything I've valued and tried to put into my writing is of completely no interest to him,' she says without a trace of bitterness. In fact, for a woman with such a painful childhood, Lim laughs frequently, her words spilling over with enthusiasm.

'He's 100 per cent American, but I'm not lamenting or mourning it. If he's happy and healthy and building his own life, that's what he has to do.'
(*Originally in The Straights Times 16/3/06 but no longer online)

No comments: