“Kakak, I need to go toilet,” Dalvey bleats. They are all perspiring by now, a sulky glitter of sweat drops along the sides of their faces, and batting and swatting at itches on their arms and legs. Dakota sends Dalvey behind a clump of elephant ferns to relieve himself and tells Amber they should get back to the path. Amber mutters that she wants go on a bit farther and the two girls trail into a quarrelsome rhythm, the conversational pulse of rivalrous siblings too close in age to let the other be her own person.

Yu-Mei Balasingamchow is the co-author of the non-fiction title Singapore: A Biography (2009), and co-editor of the literary collection, In Transit: An Anthology from Singapore on Airports and Air Travel (2016). Her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2014), selected for the biennial Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories (2013 and 2015), and published in the UK and the US. Her essays are widely published in Singapore.

Yu-Mei completed her undergraduate education at Northwestern University and a master’s degree at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2015, she was an honorary fellow in writing at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. In 2017, she was writer-in-residence at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She lives in Singapore and is working on a novel. She is also an independent writer, editor and curator for history, art and culture museums and other institutions in Singapore.

Yu-Mei Balasingamchow Fiction Writer


Singapore, Singapore