June 10, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

The Lounge Chair Interview: 10 Questions with Christine Chia

2 min read

By Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

Christine Chia PhotoLet’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

I’m most inspired to write when I’m arrested by a cinematic dream. My dreams inspire many of my poems; I take them down verbatim, word for word, image for image. My dreams are pitiless and deadly like Ingmar Bergman films. My waking self would flinch at saying the things my dream self says. It’s the things my dream self says that move my readers and the child I was and will always be.

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

I am starting to work on editing the follow-up volume to A Luxury We Cannot Afford (Math Paper Press, 2014) with Joshua Ip and Cheryl Julia Lee and our working title for now is A Luxury We Must Afford – the final title is still subject to change. We are compiling a collection that looks into the future, into the next 50 years of Singapore’s journey as a nation.

Describe your writing aesthetic.

I’m drawn to what Baldwin once stated, “You want to write a sentence as clean as a bone. That is the goal.” It is important to me that the writing is not false or flabby; that it looks at things as they are and could be without whitewashing or pessimism.

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