|2009||Boey Kim Cheng, Between Stations: Essays, Artermon, NSW (2009) [J1]|
Between Stations is a collection of personal essays that explore the themes of migration and home-making, probing the in-between spaces that the migrant negotiates, between the old and new home, between the past and present. It also salvages childhood memories of a dead father and the old Singapore, and offers transnational perspectives on the issues of identity and belonging, showing how the diasporic writer’s sense of self is constituted through multi-locale attachments and affiliations.
The book has garnered high praise. The Sydney Herald remarks that “if Proust had been a Chinese traveller from Singapore . . . he could well have written a book like this.” The Straits Times states that “Between Stations will evoke reactions ranging from nostalgia to nervousness in the reader still living in the city he gave up.” Shirley Lim, an eminent critic whose work on diasporic Asian literature is highly regarded internationally, observes: “Between Stations is a classic, the essays to be read and studied for the pleasures of their elegance of language, for their intellectual and literary shine, for the invaluable poignancy of a cultural, familial identity retrieved in imagination, and for their power in deepening our understanding of a past and present Singapore whose presence is so precisely evoked so as to make it worth the quarrelling.”
Between Stations has attracted invitations to writers’ festivals in Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, and appearances on the ABC, on Late Night Live and Connect Asia. It was shortlisted for the 2010 WA Premier’s Literary Awards for Nonfiction.