Monday, March 17, 2008

Wena's Oscar Dress

Wena Poon is thrown some searching questions by Intan Maizura Ahmad Kamal in the New Sunday Times.

On where she gets her ideas :
Like many writers or film directors, I observe people. Something poignant would occur in my daily life – I would notice a stranger on the street and think, “There is a great story behind this person.” I love the dramatic possibilities of ordinary life. I spend a lot of time writing down interesting monologues that ordinary people deliver in my presence, unconscious of the fact that they are actors on a stage of their own design. For example, I think cab drivers, when they go on a rant, are absolutely hilarious.
On her literary hero :
E.M. Forster. He didn’t write many novels, but they were all elegant and sympathetic observations of the human condition. He’s also easy to read.
On her writing style :
I shoot straight from the hip. I try to communicate simply, effectively and elegantly. I don’t mix metaphors, I don’t try to strive for effect. I write exactly the way I think. As Keats said, “poetry should come as naturally as leaves to a tree.” If you push yourself too hard, you’re doing it wrong.
On Singapore :
It’s a question of the heart. I’m pretty sentimental about Singapore as I grew up there for the first 17 years. I want more people to know about Singapore, that it’s not just a tropical touristy place, that it’s not just about the chewing gum ban and caning, but that it is a unique, diverse, complex and amazing place. But we can’t do that until we believe in it ourselves first. Ironically, many Asians think Americans do not have moral values, but it was the Americans who taught me to be proud of my roots. They taught me patriotism, to treasure what I have instead of saying it’s not good enough.
Her ultimate dream she says is to have one of her novels made into a film that would win an Oscar, and she says:
I already have an Oscar gown picked out. Very important, you know! You don’t want to be caught not having anything to wear at the last minute!
Can't wait to meet her on Saturday.

Eric tells me that her collection of short stories is going into a reprint of 5,000 copies to cope with the demand from Singapore, and I think that is truly fantastic.


Anonymous said...

The following response is spot on too.

Q. What do you consider to be your biggest challenge with what you do (with writing)?
It’s easy to have lots of ideas. It’s hard to make them coherent and understandable to your audience. You have to constantly self-edit.

Anonymous said...

and if you miss her at Seksan, heard she's also making an appearance at Borders Curve, 5pm same day...

bibliobibuli said...

anon 1 - yes, and the accesiblity is something i really like about her writing

anon 2 - yes, that's right

and there will be copies to buy and get signed at seksan's

bex said...

I really want to go and meet her again, but can't since I have a presentation on Monday and tons of assignments to complete. :(

But I hope everyone has a great time. Wena is really funny.