How We Disappeared

Pages: 352
Subject: Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld

How We Disappeared

Jing-Jing Lee

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel set in Singapore about a woman who survived the Japanese occupation and a man who thought he had lost everything
Hardback
9781786074126 (2 May 2019)
RRP £12.99

The Book

 

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel set in Singapore about a woman who survived the Japanese occupation and a man who thought he had lost everything. For fans of Min Jin Lee's Pachinko and Georgia Hunter's We Were the Lucky Ones.

Singapore, 1942. As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked, leaving only two survivors and one tiny child.

In a neighbouring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is bundled into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel where she is forced into sexual slavery. After sixty years of silence, what she saw and experienced there still haunts her present.

In the year 2000, twelve-year-old Kevin is determined to find out the truth - wherever it might lead - after his grandmother makes a surprising confession on her deathbed, one she never meant Kevin to hear, setting in motion a chain of events he could never have foreseen.

Weaving together two timelines and two very big secrets, this stunning debut opens a window on a little-known period of history, revealing the strength and bravery shown by numerous women in the face of terrible cruelty. A profoundly moving novel, it is based partly on the author's great-grandfather's experiences.

Additional Information

Subject Fiction
Pages 352
Imprint Oneworld

 

About the Author

Jing-Jing Lee was born and raised in Singapore. She obtained a master's degree in Creative Writing from Oxford in 2011, and has since seen her poetry and short stories published in various journals and anthologies. Jing-Jing's novella, If I Could Tell You, was published by Marshall Cavendish in 2013 and her debut poetry collection, And Other Rivers, was published by Math Paper Press in 2015. How We Disappeared is her first novel. She currently lives in Amsterdam.

Reviews

'How We Disappeared is a masterpiece of storytelling. Evocative and heart rending, it tells of one woman's survival in occupied Singapore, and the quest of a child to solve a family mystery. It is beautifully written, exquisitely crafted, and utterly compelling.'

- Mary Chamberlain, author of The Dressmaker of Dachau and The Hidden

‘A beautifully controlled novel that tells an utterly compelling and important story. Jing-Jing Lee's prose is crystal clear, the narrative scope is sweeping and devastating, and the story is as deeply felt and well observed as it is captivating.'  

- Caoilinn Hughes, author of Orchid & the Wasp

'Jing-Jing Lee writes like a poet... This was a hard story to tell, to hear and to read, but it is also an important story which demands to exist and Jing-Jing Lee has brought it to life... Congratulations. Every single hour I spent reading this was an hour which could not have been better spent.'

- Catherine Chanter, author of The Well

‘This is a brilliant, heart-breaking story with an unforgettable image of how women were silenced and disappeared by both war and culture.'

- Xinran, author of The Good Women of China

‘A heartbreaking story told with such humanity and grace. The details of How We Disappeared are so vivid they return to me in dreams.'

- Marti Leimbach, bestselling author of Dying Young and Daniel Isn't Talking

'A shattering, tender and absorbing novel… Meticulously researched, exquisitely written, with characters that will live and breathe in your heart long after you finish the last page... I'm reeling from its power—what an absolute triumph.'

- Fiona Mitchell, author of The Maid’s Room

'An exquisite mystery, an enthralling novel. Equally touching and intriguing, How We Disappeared is a soaring debut of surviving the unsurvivable [and] a searing and shocking reminder of a history many would like to forget, and of the endurance of the human spirit.'

- Eoin Dempsey, author of White Rose, Black Forest