“Now there seems to be a much stronger idea of…Singaporeanness, compared to 30 years ago,” says Malaysian novelist Tash Aw in this interview with Samuel Caleb in The Epiphany. The Booker Prize-longlisted author discusses the rivalry between Singapore and Malaysia, about the post-colonial literary fetishes, and his own writing career and the choices he has made in his life.
You’re currently living on campus as a writer-in-residence—how familiar are you with Singapore?
Quite—my sister used to study here back in the 80s, and I’ve visited from time to time. I’ve noticed since I arrived, though, that now there seems to be a much stronger idea of…Singaporeanness, compared to 30 years ago.