July 31, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Singaporean writer Wena Poon on life and death in occupied Kyoto

1 min read

wenapoonAs a child living in a tiny apartment in Singapore, Wena Poon listened to radio plays broadcast in a variety of languages and watched TV — everything from Chinese sword-fighting operas to popular American series such as “M*A*S*H.” “There was nowhere to go outside,” Poon says, “so I just sat around. It was an audio-visual childhood.”

Now a writer and Harvard-educated lawyer, Poon lives in Austin, Texas, with her Australian-American husband. Though the stories in her first collection, “Lions in Winter,” took place mostly in her native country, her novel “Alex y Robert,” about a young American woman who wants to be a bullfighter, was set in Spain. The book was published to acclaim in Britain, where it was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. A short story she wrote based on this novel was later nominated for France’s Prix Hemingway.

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