Weaving Facts into Fiction, 4 April 2014

An evening with British author Clare Wigfall

Friday, 4 APRIL at 8:00PM at SINKEH, 105 Lebuh Melayu, Penang. 

Award-winning British fiction writer Clare Wigfall is currently in Penang on a travel grant from the British Council to research her new novel.

Winner of the 2008 BBC National Short Story Award, Clare’s stories have been described by the Guardian as ‘provocative, terrifying, and bold […] real fears, dark secrets, beautifully interpreted’.  They range widely in style and subject matter, crossing continents, centuries, and a huge range of voices.

Her research for her novel, loosely based on the story of her grandmother and great-grandmother, brings her to George Town where her grandmother was born in 1919.  Dorothy “Dot” Sayers grew up in Penang in the twenties, the youngest of three girls and daughter of Charles Sayers of the Eastern Smelting Co.  Their mother Marion abandoned her daughters when Dorothy was still a small baby.  Little is known of why Marion left or what fate befell her, but there is some suggestion that she might have stayed in Malaya after the Japanese invaded and ended up in a POW camp.

At this special evening at Sinkeh, Clare shared some of her short stories and details of her current research, and was hoping to engage in a discussion with the local audience who may well have historical knowledge and experiences to share.

Talk publicity 5

The author, CLARE WIGFALL has lived in London, Berkeley, Prague, Edinburgh, and presently Berlin. Her debut short story collection THE LOUDEST SOUND AND NOTHING (Faber & Faber) was published in 2007 to critical acclaim. The following year she won the BBC National Short Story Award, was later nominated by William Trevor for an E.M. Forster Award, and was the 2010 recipient of the K. Blundell Trust Award. She has published in the Guardian, and has written for BBC Radio and NPR. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia where she won the Curtis Brown Prize. She is currently under commission to Faber to write a new story collection and a novel set in colonial-era British Malaya.


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