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.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.
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.
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.