Vanishing Point

 • Longlisted for the 2013 Frank O'connor International Short Story Award


3,000 people go missing every year in Singapore. Why do they go missing? What do they leave behind?


Felix Cheong’s Vanishing Point is the first work of fiction by a Singapore writer to be inspired by real-life cases of missing persons. These stories do not speculate where these people have gone to but are a creative leap-off to explore the theme of absences and obsessions.

In the story, ‘In the Dark’, a man who is obsessive-compulsive about white cleans his wife - literally - out of his life. In ‘Remember the Wormhole of 2030’, the prime minister of a small island nation abducts her ex-lover to prevent a scandal from exploding. In ‘The 10th Floor’, a crooked accountant has to deal nightly with strangers coming to his flat asking for a floor that doesn’t exist.

These are stories suffused with a sharp sense of the surreal and the satirical, compared by writers like Daren Shiau and Boey Kim Cheng to Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. Weaving in poetic turns of phrase for which he is known for, Cheong shows us how we often reach the vanishing point in the horizon even if we may not have physically vanished.


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Reviews

“Full of trickery, like the illusionist in You Will Be Out like a Light, the sleights-of-hand echoing Murakami, but distinctly Singaporean and Cheong's. The dark humour, the surreal and macabre touches, the trenchant wit and well-observed details are mesmerising and subtly satirical, subversive of the values of the global city, which should be enthralled and surprised by its images caught in the mirrors of these pages.” - Dr Boey Kim Cheng, Senior lecturer, University of Newcastle, and poet

“At once surprising and moving, these stories capture the lives of those who hover between this world and the next. Vanishing Point is a powerful exploration of the individual encountering his own mortality.” - Dr Nancy Srebro Park, Southern Methodist University


“Cheong's stories are steeped in a kind of mysterious melancholy and Cheong brings them to life with his page-turning prose. As a fascinated reader, I found myself asking, where will Mr. Cheong go next? And usually, I felt myself riveted by the twists and turns that followed. These are stories that will not only keep you reading, they may keep you awake and wondering.” - Dr David Fedo, Author of Carrots and Other Poems

"Ways of loss", a phrase from one of his stories, could be an alternative title to this riveting collection. Felix Cheong's characters, or parts of their bodies or spirits, as they are usually self-conflicted, vanish. The alert, nuanced prose style precariously balances the suspension between appearance and reality. The reader cannot help but read on.” - Dr Robert Yeo, Poet, playwright, novelist and S.E.A. Write Award winner, 2012

AUTHORS

Felix Cheong