Singapore journalist Clara Chow will launch a collection of short stories put togther in a book titled Dream Storeys on November 6, during the Singapore Writers Festival 2016.
The book is a result of interviews and interactions with 12 prominent and emerging local architects – such as President’s Design Award winner Tan Kok Hiang, National University of Singapore School of Design and Environment senior lecturer Nirmal Kishnani, and Genome Architects principal Yen Yen Wu – that gave Clara an insight in to what were the imaginary structures they longed to construct. The author, then wrote short stories set in these dream buildings.
Dream Storey’s nine genre-bending stories include a touching tale in a prelapsarian tree house that is both old folks’ home and orphanage, an almost-love story set in an underground city, and a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style fable revolving around a serum that changes human behaviour. An action-packed epilogue reimagines the Singapore Flyer as a political prison.
The 39-year-old author is a former arts correspondent with The Straits Times, Life! and popular Manic Mummy columnist of My Paper from 2007 to 2013. She says, “I wanted to speculate on a Singapore that only exists on paper, yet had some basis in reality. While writing these stories, I was also nostalgic and anxious over the rapid changes in this place I call home. In the wake – or maybe aftermath – of the SG50 celebrations, it’s worth taking stock of where we’re going and what we’re doing to our built environment; or where our built environment is going and what it’s doing to us.”
Dream Storeys, a hybrid work, in which reportage sits alongside creative writing, it asks the questions: What would Singapore’s skyline be like if these architects’ ideal edifices existed? How would the country and its people be different in an altered/alternative environment?
The book industry’s premier trade magazine Publishers Weekly named Clara as one of Singapore’s Top 12 Writers to Watch.