November 28, 2022


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

The Lounge Chair Interview: 10 Questions with Gwee Li Sui

1 min read

by Desmond Kon


Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

That is the question. Writing is terrible work. Your closest human companion is the guy in the mirror you’re sick of. The job doesn’t pay. In fact, you become really poor – and for what purpose? To wrest from life some nugget of uncelebrated truth. You feel like you’re wasting your time. Meanwhile, the authority and people with all kinds of agenda take turns to politicise you, to your detriment. Even some writers, who you’d think should know better, come at you. Then the cycle restarts. So why write? I don’t know!

Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?

It is practically done. I think I can disclose that my new collection of poems is called The Other Merlion and Friends. This pays tribute to the dead, missing, and invisible heroes of Singapore and is a sequel of sorts to my first collection of verse from 1998, Who Wants to Buy a Book of Poems? Yes, it’s my long-awaited funny book and possibly my last of this kind.

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