How long has it been since you last read a book? Now that work commute is likely for some of you in Phase 2, here are some narratives that you can easily jump in and out off on your way. A capture of pockets of time in daily life, these chapters will summon forgotten memories and the courage to take new chances.
Calypso by David Sedaris
Funny, poignant and actually meaning those adjectives, these compiled chronicles of Sedaris’s worldview are equal parts brutally honest and unexpectedly humorous. The real-life incidents, which range from uncomplicated to outlandish, are subtly narrated, making this highly instinctive read feel like you’re following a well-loved sitcom, causing you to reflect on the curiosity that is life.
Fly Already by Etgar Keret
Written in Hebrew and translated by five translators, this haunting anthology is rich in irony and doesn’t shy away from politics. It switches between reality and speculative fiction with plenty of witty moments, pulling your emotions in more ways than one, but tackling loneliness in a way that will leave a mark.
Humiliation by Paulina Flores
South American literature is not read enough this side of the world, especially with this gem of storytelling. Flores paints an intimate picture of Chile and human fragility, weaving pockets of time with family and volatile outcomes. You’ll hardly know where the story leads and what will unfold until it does, as best depicted in personal favourite ‘Talcahuano’.
The Heartsick Diaspora and Other Stories by Elaine Chew
Another acute observation of the Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese diasporas, this debut collection divulges the fragmented sense of self caught between cultures. Not answering the common question of local identity but rather widening its boundaries, characters seem incredibly believable while still carrying the analogy of our place in the nation’s evolution.