Shortlisted for Singapore Literature Prize 2018
A teenager discovers his grandfather's secret identity only after his death. A young immigrant to 1940s Singapore is convinced the end-times are nigh. A man is tasked with bringing the corpse of his estranged brother home from Phuket. A reporter is torn between doing her a job and respecting her friend’s privacy. From obituaries and job ads to crime reports and horoscopes, Regrettable Things That Happened Yesterday is a collection of ten short stories connected by the motif of newspapers, and the unexpected ways they end up affecting our lives.
“The stories in this gorgeous collection are complex yet clear, heartbreaking yet hopeful, sharp-witted yet compassionate. Jennani Durai is an exciting new voice in literature, a writer to watch!”
–Tayari Jones, multi-award-winning author of An American Marriage
“These brisk and clear-eyed stories illuminate both the minor betrayals and the little victories that inevitably define us. Jennani Durai is a disarmingly heartfelt and unpretentious storyteller.”
–Cyril Wong, author of Ten Things My Father Never Taught Me
“Jennani Durai writes with a confident voice that manages an impressive balance between wry observations and intimacy. Her characters are honestly rendered and they draw the reader into their world with strength and elegance. These stories highlight the pains and triumphs of straddling different cultures.”
–Balli Kaur Jaswal, author of Sugarbread and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
“Jennani Durai's debut collection is a deft work of mixology. These stories are equal part tender stirrings and sharp ripples of humour. She situates in the centre characters who would normally have been peripheral.”
–Pooja Nansi, NAC Youth Poet Ambassador and author of Love is an Empty Barstool
“Regrettable Things That Happened Yesterday presents a series of regrets about being alive and human, before tickling you to death with its sprightly sense of morbid humour. In ten stories centred on the motif of news and reportage, Durai doesn't sugarcoat the everyday tragedies of being a minority in Singapore. Instead she brings you tales of how what is reported is often less than what is said, and far less than what we mean to say–a debut collection of immense skill and wit.”
–Ann Ang, author of Bang My Car
About the Author:
Jennani Durai is a former journalist, a VONA/Voices fiction fellow for 2016, and a co-author of the official commemorative book of Singapore’s 50th birthday, Living the Singapore Story (2015). She was selected for the Ceriph Mentorship Programme (Prose) in 2014, and won both third prize and an honourable mention in the 2015 Golden Point Awards. Durai currently lives in Guatemala with her husband, and Regrettable Things That Happened Yesterday is her debut collection of short fiction.
Size: 200 x 130mm
Published: September 2017