an anthology published by ethos books



The condition not of being homeless, but of having a home and being outside of it.

Homi Bhabha theorised this experience with reference to migrants and post-colonial people who have lost a sense of home because they have physically moved away, or because a familiar place has undergone radical change and become unrecognisable.

In many ways, however, unhoming is a modern, urban condition: the result of living in a world, a landscape that is changing more rapidly than ever before. Although it was not proposed as a theme, the experience of being unhomed surfaced organically in the works of the young Singaporean writers in this anthology.

The young writers expressed the anxieties of unhoming on different levels — personal, domestic, societal — and through varying modes and genres. The collection opens with the folklore-inspired "Of Sea Folk", which juxtaposes the lull of a storytelling voice with an acute sense of defamiliarisation. This is followed by poems that explore the politics of the body—that which is the closest to the self, yet also threatened by external forces and social mores. The next few pieces explore a sense of alienation within the most familiar of spaces and places: the domestic home and the home country. The anthology ends on a surreal note with "Carousel", which dramatises the escape from reality into fantasy.

Tying these diverse places together is the ebb and flow of a feeling of dislocation that gnaws away at the heart. A pensive, bleak mood prevails, and yet there is a redemptive glimmer—a sense that through giving form to these deep-seared anxieties, these young contributors are one step closer to making a home in their pursuit of writing.


- paperback, 44 pages
- product dimensions: 111 x 182 mm

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