Finding the human in the monster


The Straits Times had the enormous pleasure of interviewing our very own author, Tan Twan Eng.

Finding the human in the monster, published September 18th by Lee Jian Xuan, The Straits Times.

Whether he is writing at his desk or teaching in class, the award- winning Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng is always in a neatly pressed suit, with a matching tie to boot.

Of his attire, the 44-year-old tells The Sunday Times: “I’m more comfortable in this. To me, being a writer is a job and you treat it with respect.

“To get into the mindset of writing, I have to dress the part.”

Tan, who was born in Penang and worked as an intellectual property lawyer before becoming a novelist, says his professional background gave him a leg-up in the literary world.

He says: “The years I worked at a law firm taught me how to deal with clients professionally, reply to e-mail on time and gave me discipline. One reason that my agent signed me is because of how professional my submission letter and CV looked.”

He wrote part of his first novel Gift Of Rain while studying for a master’s in shipping law (“It was just a bull**** reason to take two years off work”) in Cape Town, South Africa. He now splits his time mainly between South Africa and Malaysia.

To read the full article please click here.