Agnes Chew

Jan 18, 2024

Eternal Summer of My Homeland

Epigram Books 2023

purchase at bookshop.org

The opening story of Eternal Summer of My Homeland (Epigram Book, 2023) the debut story collection from Singaporean author Agnes Chew, is about grief. Hui Shan loses her mother right before the birth of her first child–and gradually cuts her father out of her life after he refuses to do the traditional things one does to commemorate the death of a family member. Until she learns what her father has actually been doing: Growing a garden, illegally, on Singaporean government land.

Agnes’s stories are all about Singapore and its multiculturalism, tradition, and modernity. And, as she explains in today’s interview, the collection is in fact Agnes's attempt to reconnect with the city, after moving away to Germany.

Agnes Chew is also the author of The Desire for Elsewhere (Math Paper Press: 2016), a collection of travel essays. Her work has appeared in Granta, Necessary Fiction, and Wildness Journal, among others. She holds a Master’s degree in international development from the London School of Economics; her prizewinning dissertation, which examines inequality and societal wellbeing in Singapore, was featured in the Singapore Policy Journal.

Agnes can be followed on Instagram at @_agneschew.

You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Eternal Summer of My Homeland. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.

Nicholas Gordon is an editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon.

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Nicholas Gordon

Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.

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