Singapore: Ethos Books, 2015
Corridor is a collection of short stories all set in present‐day Singapore. With unsentimental clarity and heartbreaking honesty, Alfian Sa'at writes about HDB dwellers -- students, housewives and factory workers, whose lives begin to unravel once they discover that happiness is a fragile thing in a country obsessed with progress and success.
The characters in each story find themselves in situations that offer them a ticket to hope and change: A video camera transforms the way a resentful daughter sees her widowed mother. A married couple receives free holiday tickets just when their luck seems to have run out. A girl encounters a transvestite on an MRT train ride who tells her that she looks like a famous singer. And a man enters a discotheque after a bitter divorce and re‐learns the terror of falling in love all over again.
Rich in authentic detail, with a sensitive ear for the vernacular, Corridor paints an elegiac, revealing portrait of contemporary Singaporeans who exist along the city's corridors -- haunted by lost loves, irrevocable childhoods and a deep longing to be free.
Corridor won the Singapore Literature Prize Commendation Award in 1998.