July 25, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

The Lounge Chair Interview: 10 Questions with Yeow Kai Chai

1 min read

By Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

Yeow Kai ChaiLet’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

To rewire DNA.

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

I’ve just finished a quintet of short stories for a collaborative project with three other authors, Yong Shu Hoong, Heng Siok Tian and Phan Ming Yen. We went to Angkor Wat and decided to write prose passages based on a set of parameters. I haven’t touched prose for some years and the genre has helped open up new avenues of expression. The stories I’ve written have a bit of David Lynch, Wong Kar-wai and the TV drama Lost into the mix. I had fun.

While awaiting the publication of my third poetry collection, I’m also starting work on my fourth. It’s pivoted on ideas about transformation and fluid identities. I’m particularly stoked after a visit to the Museum of Natural History at the University of Iowa last year. The stuffed animals, the intricate lifelike dioramas, the reimagined climes… they triggered something in me. I was there for the fall residency of the Iowa Writing Program and met so many kindred spirits too.

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