ECHOES is a curious and lyrical collection of personal essays from writer, essayist, critic and poet Shu-Ling Chua which references art and literature, pop culture and nostalgia. It gathers small joys, from a figure-hugging ‘disco dress’ to learning to sing Koo Mei’s ‘Bu Liao Qing’ 不了情 to the swish of washing machines. And asks: what does one unknowingly inherit?
In the title story, Echoes, inspired by old Chinese pop songs and their modern versions, Shu-Ling unexpectedly discovers past and present colliding despite the limits of language and translation and the gaps that remain there. 'Years later, I had presumed consuming the same cultural products would help me piece together her life. There is however a river—linguistic, cultural, historical—I cannot cross.'
In (Im)material Inheritances, Shu-Ling considers glamour and the way we dress for the world, delighting in the feminine, while peering at old family photographs searching and longing for the material links with her mother and grandmother. And finally in Adrift, Shu-Ling takes us on a watery journey from her share house washing machine to her ancestor’s laundry business in Malaysia, to red date tea and a bathtub, examining the minute detail of our domestic lives, the habits and rituals, their origins and secrets, sorrows and delights, and shining a light on their place and meaning.
Writer, essayist, critic and poet, Shu-Ling Chua was born in Melbourne to Malaysian-Chinese parents. Shu-Ling’s work is intensely personal and tender and largely centres on her ideas around image and femininity, family and connection, memory and loss. Shu-Ling gently and delicately teases out her ideas through a series of vivid and intimate vignettes which allow her to both reflect and make sense of her world, as well as ponder the mysteries of things that cannot be explained.
96 page paperback
178mm x 108mm
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