University of Iowa Archive
Yu-Mei Balasingamchow is a fiction and nonfiction writer from Singapore. Her stories appear in the anthologies From the Belly of the Cat (2009) and Let’s Tell This Story Properly: Commonwealth Short Story Prize Anthology (2015), as well as in the journal Mänoa. Her nonfiction work includes Singapore: A Biography (2009), co-authored with Mark Ravinder
A few years ago, my cousin was just about to graduate from a small state school with an English degree. He told me he wanted to be a writer. I had never read any of his writing, so I was unbelievably discouraging. Try a job in the real world,
After one year of writing my novel, I took stock of what I’d accomplished—which seemed like very little. Would writing always feel like flailing? How do novelists find their way through? For guidance, I turned to published novelists, whose interviews are presented in the One Year In: Writing the Novel series.
The first time I met Rick Bass, in early 2010, I was sick as a dog. Iowa State University had invited him to participate in its annual Wildness Symposium, during my first year in the MFA program. In the middle of the symposium my Florida-born body rejected winter altogether.