Image: Chi-Wai Un, From Eric Chau and Chi-Wai Un's "Work Hard."
This month we present writing from Macau. This tiny territory may be known for economic growth powered by its casino industry, but its blend of languages and culture has produced a wealth of remarkable literature. Writing in Chinese and Portuguese, the authors here consider wealth, ambition, development, and the relentless pace of a region on the move. Eric Chau and Chi-Wai Un expose the seamy truth behind the go-go veneer of a cutthroat company. Koh Choon Eiow and Mok Sio Chong eavesdrop on a couple gambling on casino jobs, and poet Agnes Lam reflects on the persistent remnants of colonialism. And we hear from two other poets, as Un Sio San finds a metaphor for Macau’s lost past in an abandoned hotel, and Yao Feng struggles to look for light. Guest editor Jeremy Tiang contributes an illuminating introduction and translations from Chinese. We thank Pen of Macau and the Macao Foundation for their generous support. Elsewhere, we present new fiction from Panama.
Land of Contradictions: Writing in Macau Today
For a small former colony, Macau definitely punches above its weight when it comes to literary production.
A Gambling World
I tell you, people at these casinos only think of winning.
This City I Come From
no disputes / chroniclers and chronicled as one / reunification, yes, reunification
Trixie’s colleagues were all frantically busy and unfailingly rude.
Searching for Light
The light retires to the lamp and suddenly all is dark again
Mrs. Robinson at the Hotel Estoril
Soaking in time he sees fallen Estoril
Reviewed by Ane Farsethås
In her novel "Wait, Blink", Norwegian writer Gunnhild Øyehaug devises a whimsical, yet earnest probe into the human condition, filled with a dizzy range of topics. From golf books to “the essence of life”, from Tarantino to Dante, passing though fictions about the dream life of president George W. Bush and the childhood of literary theorist Paul de Man, it’s all equally worth a moment of curious observation.