Separation: A History

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The sequel to The Law of Second Marriages, the best-selling and critically acclaimed poetry book by Christine. With "terrifying sparseness and intensity", as Cyril Wong observes, Christine threads together stories of the Separation between Singapore and Malaysia with the separation between her parents. Her searing vision, ambitious and intimate, opens up emotional spaces in unlikely places.



Separation: A History

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$16.00 SGD


"Christine's writing balances a journalist's clarity with a poet's desire to color and invent. In this boldly innovative book, she tells how the history of a family and that of a nation curiously come to mirror each other. By alternating poems with news clippings, photos, and google searches, she also creates a dialogue between public and private, personal and political, fact and fantasy. At times, the effect is poignant, at times playful, but in every instance, Christine proves she knows how "to love/ like an economist" and make every word shine." - Elaine Equi, author of Click and Clone

"What I cherish in Christine Chia's poetry: an uncompromising reverence for the heft of individual words, the singular gift of hewing a phrase anew, an unerring desire for cutting clarity in each poetic line, an ambitious striving toward epiphanic endings, and a most crystalline conviction in the solidity of absences." - Sam Ng, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore

"History is made both personal and political in this poetic unravelling of family ties. With humour and tenderness, Chia constructs a narrative in which body and State become one." - Tania De Rozario, author of Tender Delirium

"Christine Chia writes with a terrifying sparseness and intensity. Familial relationships come to dramatic life with her uncanny ability to cut straight to the bone in poems that reveal, yet again, how family life can be the first and greatest source of psychological trauma. But it is also through such painful encounters that the poet is able to walk the road of forgiveness to compassionate insight, lasting maturity and wisdom." - Cyril Wong, author of Tilting Our Plates to Catch the Light and The Dictator's Eyebrow


Christine Chia