Last year, Peril‘s Lian Low stole an hour or so of highly acclaimed writers Suchen Christine Lim (Singapore) and Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz (the Philippines) Melbourne Writers Festival time to chat about their recent residency and public event experiences in Hoi An and Hanoi, Vietnam and Strathvea and Castlemaine, Victoria.
Both writers were participants in RMIT’s WrICE: the Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange Program which is a program of reciprocal cultural exchange and cultural immersion between Australia and Asia focused on writers and writing led by Directors Associate Professors David Carlin and Francesca Rendle-Short, and Clare Renner.
Suchen’s long list of awards and honours include the inaugural Singapore Literature Prize for her third novel Fistful of Colours in 1992 and the South East Asia S.E.A.Write Award in 2012. In 2015, her novel The River’s Song was featured in a prestigious American book review magazine Kirkus Reviews as one of “The Best Books of 2015”. Jhoanna’s first book, Women Loving: Stories and a Play (Anvil Publishing, 2010), is the first single-author anthology of lesbian-themed writing in the Philippines. Her writing has won the Philippines’ prestigious Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Her short story, “Abi Nako” which she worked on in the WrICE residency was published in Griffith Review’s New Asia Now II edition. Last year Jhoanna was included in Buzzfeed’s 17 incredible lesbian pinays you need to know in celebration of December 8 as the National Lesbian Day in the Philippines. Jhoanna is currently associate professor at the University of the Philippines Mindanao in Davao City.
Peril readers are also fortunate to hear both authors read from their recent work: Jhoanna reading from Women Loving: Stories and a Play and Suchen reading from The River’s Song.
More about Suchen Christine Lim here
More about Jhoanna Lynn B Cruz here
*Very special heartfelt thanks to Jacqueline Erasmus and Hayden Golder the wonderful and talented duo behind the camera and editing suite.
*A big thank you to Francesca Rendle-Short for enabling this conversation to happen and who waited so warmly and patiently behind the scenes at Building 100 (Design Hub) RMIT.
*With thanks David Carlin, Francesca Rendle-Short, Clare Renner and Ali Barker, our partners at WrICE The Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange Program. (WrICE) is an initiative of nonfictionLab at RMIT University, generously supported by the Copyright Agency.