5Q Interview: Sharlene Teo (Singapore) 2017 IWP resident

The Writing University conducts is a series of interviews with writers while they are in Iowa City participating in the International Writing Program's fall residency. We sit down with authors to ask about their work, their process and their descriptions of home.

Today we are talking with Sharlene Teo, a fiction writer from Singapore.

1. Do you have a plan or project in mind for your time at the residency?

Yes, I am starting to draft my second book which I outlined in my residency proposal.

2. What does your daily practice look like for your writing? Do you have a certain time when you write? Any specific routine?

I work best in the morning before the detritus of the day and dismal news cycle gets in my hair. If I'm writing at home I put on ambient/electronic music, it helps me focus.

3. What are you currently reading right now? Are you reading for research or pleasure?

Attrib. by Eley Williams, Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro and Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson. I'm reading for pleasure!

4. What is one thing the readers and writers of Iowa City should know about you and your work?

I'm left-handed and write like a left-handed person (whatever that means!).

5. Tell us a bit about where you are from -- what are some favorite details you would like to share about your home?

I'm from Singapore, which is one of only three surviving city-states in the world. The others being Vatican City, and Monaco. Reports of corporal punishment for gum-chewing have been greatly exaggerated. We have a bilingual language policy; in schools, everyone is taught English as a first language. No, we're not part of China or Malaysia. Singaporean food is incredible. Next level amazing.

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Thank you so much, Sharlene!

Check the IWP website for events that will include Sharlene Teo throughout the residency.  

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