- About the Author
In The Dogs, a middle-aged man, Guan, decides to move back into the flat that once belonged to his late father. Guan sells off his own flat and, in the process, estranges himself from his own son, who questions his father’s sudden decision.
While trying to settle in and to make sense of the new surroundings, Guan slowly gets to know the residents in the block and becomes acquainted with a neighbour, a lonely old man who dresses in his dead wife’s clothes. As Guan explores and discovers more of the estate he lives in, he starts to have flashbacks about his past, vividly remembering his childhood in a kampong in Singapore in the 1950s, and his once close friendship with schoolmate Heng Chong, whose baby sister died a mysterious death—an event that the boys were determined to solve. In trying to find the truth, Guan and Henry both found their friendship was slowly being tested. The arrival of a stray dog in their kampong eventually proved to be the catalyst that sparked off a chain of events that led to the dissolution of their friendship, and the unforeseen death of a loved one that cast a long, indelible shadow over Guan’s life.
As Guan looks back into the past to find the answers to the mystery that surrounding this tragic death, he also learns to cope with his own personal losses and finds ways to redeem himself from his past acts. In the act of negotiating his past and his pain, Guan finds new hopes in his solitude, and a new life he’s slowly building with hard-won resilience, fortitude and purpose.
O Thiam Chin won the inaugural Epigram Books Fiction Prize with his debut novel Now That It's Over. He is also the author of five collections of short fiction: Free-Falling Man (2006), Never Been Better (2009), Under The Sun (2010), The Rest Of Your Life and Everything That Comes With It (2011) and Love, Or Something Like Love (2013, shortlisted for the 2014 Singapore Literature Prize for English Fiction).
His short stories have appeared in Mānoa, World Literature Today, The International Literary Quarterly, Asia Literary Review, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Kyoto Journal, The Jakarta Post, The New Straits Times, Asiatic and Esquire (Singapore). His short fiction was also selected for the first two volumes of The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories anthology series.
O was an honorary fellow of the Iowa International Writing Program in 2010, a recipient of the NAC Young Artist Award in 2012, and has been thrice longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He has appeared frequently at writers festivals in Australia, Indonesia and Singapore.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 320
Year Published: 2020