Saturday, June 28, 2008

Clarissa's Visit

I wish to write about a place of which I know everything yet nothing, where everything is familiar yet strange, a place where I feel I go too often, but never quite enough. This place is the same for everyone, only different.
It is called, of course, Home — not the Home where you now live, but the Home where you were born and in which all things must start.
This is the opening of Clarissa Tan's piece which won last year's Shiva Naipaul memorial prize, named for the Trinidadian and British novelist and journalist most noted for describing foreign places or cultures. The judges included William Boyd.

Clarissa's piece is set in (of all the exotic places in the world!) Puchong and is about a Christmas visit home.

(Writers - Doesn't this just show how the material right under your nose is often the most powerful?)

Amy Yeong writes on the AsiaOne website :

Her first person narrative is restrained, and even strangely detached at times. Yet, the underlying emotions are conveyed clearly through this very detachment. "The Visit" is, among other things, an excellent example of why the concept of "show, not tell" is such a powerful one for writers.
Clarissa, who now lives in Singapore will be making the long journey up today to read this p.m. at Seksan's.


Damyanti said...

Hi Sharon,

Thank you so much for organizing the readings today. I enjoyed every minute of it and felt sorry I had to leave when I did.

I found Clarissa's piece the most moving, perhaps because of some of my own personal resonances in her descriptions.

Thanks again for putting in such hard work, and hoping to come to more such meets:)

bibliobibuli said...

and thank you so much for your support!

animah said...

Not detracting from some of the wonderful pieces, I've heard at Seksans over the years, I have to say Clarissa's one of the most moving. I was taken by its stark simplicity and how genuine it was. Very rare.

I look forward to reading more of Clarissa's works.

And yesterday was undoubtedly one of the best Readings I've attended. Could have been the Dewangga Sakti music.

bibliobibuli said...

i'm a bit slow getting my photos up but the post is coming. yes, it was pretty amazing!