A pair of twins tries desperately to survive their education. A sentient oyster ponders the concept of making time. An unemployed man devises a social experiment with ants. A runaway sees a vision. From the 1990’s to a future where people access information through chips implanted in their heads, from the Singaporean heartland to London, San Francisco and the moon, these stories hold in tension the strangeness of displacement and a deep yearning for connection in their relentless search for who and what to call home.
“There is much to admire about this collection: precision, humor, audacity. But what gives these stories depth is that, beneath the experimentation with form and tone is an emotional honesty that manifests in the telling details, in the occasional sentence that knocks you back, and in many of the stories' endings, which are often sudden and bracing and true. This is the first I've read of Tan's work, but it won't be the last.”
—Charles Yu, acclaimed author of Sorry Please Thank You
“What is it like to be caught between several cultures? Inez Tan’s spare, observant stories brilliantly capture the complexities of navigating multiple generations and cultures while searching for love, community, and one's own identity. These are stories to cherish.”
—Andrea Barrett, National Book Award-winning author of Ship Fever
“This Is Where I Won’t Be Alone is hilarious and heartbreaking on the nature of home, and on the fearsome and magnificent force of family, and especially about Singapore—a place as well as a state of mind, rendered with a devastating deadpan wit, enormous compassion and a furious love. This is a hugely impressive collection.”
—Jim Shepard, Story Prize-winning author of Like You'd Understand, Anyway
“A beautifully well-written collection of poignant short stories about home and belonging. Inez Tan's heartwarming authenticity will touch the heart of every Singaporean reader, no matter which corner of the world we currently reside in.”
—Ning Cai, bestselling author of Misdirection
“This is Where I Won’t Be Alone marks the debut of a thrillingly inventive talent. Inez Tan’s stories of Singapore and Singaporeans—by turns knowingly affectionate and deeply affecting—positively shimmer with wit and insight.”
—Peter Ho Davies, Booker-longlisted author of The Welsh Girl
"This collection of short stories really speaks to the experience of in-betweenness for people who don't feel as if they fully belong in the place they're supposed to call home. I found the first story "Edison and Curie" particularly gripping because of its incisive observations of Singapore's education system and the people it leaves behind. I was also really moved by Boon's narrative in the story "The Colony," because it reflected how we have internalized this idea of self-worth being measured by our productivity and how we tie our sense of identity and belonging to the things that we do for a living. Inez Tan's perspective as somebody who straddles both insider and outsider status in Singapore gives the stories dimension, wit, and assuredness. It takes a bit of stepping back and observing from a distance, to be able to write truthfully about a place that feels familiar and foreign to many of us."
—Balli Kaur Jaswal, novelist, in "My Book of the Year 2019", Singapore Unbound
Cover Type: Softcover
Year Published: 2018