Meet Author Audrey Chin

Author Audrey ChinWednesday night I had the great opportunity to attend a reception at the Embassy of Singapore in honor of author Audrey Chin's latest book As the Heart Bones Break.  It was a gala event with the Ambassador of Singapore, his wife, representatives from the DC Public Library, and the local Singaporean community.

This was the first of several events that Audrey Chin will be doing in the capital region, including speaking at the Virginia Festival of the Book as well as speaking right here at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

Audrey Chin has a very unique background for a novelist.  Prior to taking this turn in fiction, she was an analyst at the RAND corporation, and since 1989 has worked in the financial sector, most notably as Head of Strategy for Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC.  But writing fiction was something that was always something she desired to do.

Chin's novels explore the life and struggles of the people of Southeast Asia. Her first novel Learning to Fly was a love story set between the two very distinctive landscapes of urban Singapore and the jungles of Borneo.  That work got her onto the short list of the Singapore Literature Prize.  Her latest novel has also been generating a lot of buzz among the Asian communities.

As the Heart Bones Break is the story of Thong Tran, a young man growing up in the heart of the war in Vietnam.  In his old age Thong is trying to rediscover his roots and reconcile the conflict within his own heart.  In writing the novel Chin drew inspiration from the stories of her Vietnamese in-laws, photos from her husband Minh's childhood, numerous books on Vietnam in conflict, and cultural artifacts with personal significance.  It's a fascinating read.

Audrey Chin will be speaking about As the Heart Bones Break in the Great Hall on Saturday, March 22 at 2 p.m. 

Copies of the international edition of the book will be available for sale and autograph by the author.


--Eric Riley