Author on the Air: Jennani Durai and Regrettable Things That Happened Yesterday
Stories About Stories is a series where authors bring you behind the scenes and reveal what goes into the creation of a book.
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What would you do if you discovered that your grandfather had a secret identity? Or if you are tasked to bring home the corpse of your estranged brother from Phuket? Or if you had to dig into your friend's privacy as part of your job?
These questions are answered in Jennani Durai's debut collection of short stories, Regrettable Things That Happened Yesterday, which is one of the nominees for this year's Singapore Literature Prize in the fiction category.
"I'm really overwhelmed! I think I'm still in shock. I really can't believe it," says Jennani about her nomination.
From obituaries and job ads to crime reports and horoscopes, her book features 10 tales tied together by the motif of newspapers and how they can unexpectedly impact our lives.
Jennani, who now lives in Guatemala, says she always preferred writing short stories. "I started writing short stories when I was in university ... I never really had the idea (to write) a novel. I was writing them for fun at the beginning, for myself, and not with the idea for a collection."
That being said, she hasn't fully dismissed the possibility of doing a novel. "I have a story called 'Never Have I Ever', about a Singaporean international student in America, and I always thought that could spin off into a novel, because I think there's a lot that could happen after (the events of) that story."
Check out 'Never Have I Ever' and Jennani's other stories when you get the book.