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Tag: America

From Tin House to Singapore

What was I doing thousands of miles from home, in a place that had no interest in who I was or where I came from? Was it wishful thinking, hoping to find an audience for my work in the US? What I came to realise was that Tin House may mean the world to a writer from Singapore, but a writer from Singapore may not necessarily mean anything at all to Tin House.

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Virus Face: Another cautionary AirBnB tale

I was standing in front of the boarding gate when a message arrived from my AirB&B host in Portland: “We’re sorry but our place is no longer available.” I read the message over and over again. Did my host just cancel my stay? Just the night before, they had been texting me information on how to get to their place from the airport.

It was hard not to panic: I had a twenty hour cross-ocean journey ahead, I had never been to Portland, and less than fifteen minutes to decide if I wanted to get on the plane or arrive in a foreign city without a place to stay.

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Review: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s
Between The World And Me

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I will say this off the bat: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World and Me is the most powerful book I’ve read all year. And everyone should read it.

Between the World and Me is an electric force. And yet his words are never complex or bombastic, but slow and quiet. His words have a life of their own so that they are not just words, but an energy that leaps off the page. To read Coates is to burn; to come so close to fire something in you ignites. To read Coates, for me, is to realise the gap between the writer I am right now and the writer I want to be.

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Criticising China

Who has the right to criticise China?

We need to unpack this question, because there is a power relationship deeply embedded in that question: that the West has developed political, economic and social systems that are superior, ergo they are in a position to instruct less developed societies still emerging from the constraints of feudalism, ergo they have earned the right to criticise China.

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