Christmas Staff Picks: The Beating and Other Stories by Dave Chua
recommended by Diana
One of the most painful crises of modernity is isolation. It makes you feel helpless and small in the face of larger systems—disconnected. Stories and writers that lay bare this sadness have always appealed to me. Kafka is a favourite of mine because of this (though he does so with humour). And though “The Singaporean knows alienation in a deeply intimate sense,” as written by Gwee Li Sui in the foreword, to speak of it seems like sacrilege. For this reason, I felt that this was an important attempt to touch on this subject; done with cinematic beauty.
Dave Chua’s familiar world is full of the lonely, forgotten and the vanished. There is always an unspoken yearning for authentic human connection, but a resignation at its impossibility. But still, compassion and empathy is possible—from the reader, who after all, lives in the very reality he describes.
Diana is an undergraduate studying English Literature. She has three cats. Her favourite writers are Jeanette Winterson, Aldous Huxley and Franz Kafka. When she’s not reading, she likes to write things, review books, and take pictures. You can find her visual work at Verkur.com