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About Michele Koh Morollo
Born in Singapore, Michele Koh Morollo first started telling stories as an 11-year-old TV show host for the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation's kid's edutainment programme "7 to 12". She has lived in Australia, Indonesia, England, and the USA, and is presently in Hong Kong where she writes short fiction, and earns her keep as a journalist, copywriter, biographer, and occasional private tour guide. She is the author of “Rotten Jellybeans” and "Without". Her short stories have been published in anthologies “Love and Lust in Singapore”, "Hong Kong Future Perfect", and "Masking the City". She also contributed a chapter introduction to "Country Living" for "Boutique Homes" – a design and architecture coffee table book by Californian luxury vacation rental brand Boutique Homes.
Lack, a companion to all, reveals itself in different ways in these fifteen tales, offering glimpses into how we live without the things we want, need, or think we ought to have. Through the eyes of characters from across the world, Without brings you into lives where contentment is just out of reach.
On the way to visit her grandfather’s grave, a young girl discovers the meaning of compassion. An encounter between two strangers on the Athens Metro reveals different takes on the migrant crisis. An unwelcomed visitor prompts a Canadian couple to reassess their life together. Noisy neighbours awaken a solitary sonographer's denied desires. A high-flying advertising man in Hong Kong gives up more than he intended, for the next big slogan. Through encounters with the sea, a woman walks through her fears, and learns about loving and letting go.
Whether what’s missing is intangible – courage, liberty, imagination, or a new beginning, or something more substantial like a lover, a child, or a home, life is seen in different colours, for those without.
Praise for 'Without'
“Like Graham Swift’s 'Last Orders', Koh Morollo’s work offers a timely, heartfelt reminder that there is no such thing as an ordinary life. Stripping away the misleading and sometimes grubby veneer, she examines the lives of forgotten people, neglected souls navigating complicated, messy, unpredictable lives, often struggling to find the right path. 'Without' takes readers on that complex, emotional journey, guiding us through with wit, warmth and, most importantly of all, empathy.” – Neil Humpreys, author of Singapore best-seller 'Complete Notes from Singapore'
“Short story lovers will find much to enjoy in these evocative tales. The settings are varied, but there's a rich, consistent literary tone that makes it a great summer read.” – Nury Vittachi, journalist, and author of 'The Feng Shui Detective' series.
“Transcending geographical boundaries, these stories cast deft and compassionate glances across swaths of emotional terrain, zooming in on relationships in deeply poignant ways.” – Cyril Wong, award-winning poet, and author of 'Ten Things My Father Never Taught Me and Other Stories'
“These are stories I would have liked to write. Set in countries like Hong Kong, the UK, Canada and Greece, they sparkle with arresting characters, authentic dialogue, and accurate and evocative sense of place. An impressive debut.” – Robert Yeo, Southeast Asia literary pioneer, and author of 'The Adventures of Holden Heng'
21 compelling short stories from 20 established and emerging local and expatriate authors chart the hopes, dreams and fears of Hong Kong’s keenest literary voices.
Eternal themes of love, lust, greed and violence collide with satirical takes on post-colonial politics and reminiscences on the city’s fascinating past. Metaphors take flight. Families are divided. Escapism is considered. Characters for whom the city has become unrecognizable resort to Virtual Reality. Sci-fi landscapes are ultra-real for others. Amongst the angst there is laughter; amidst the optimism lurks an unexplained malaise.
Hong Kong Future Perfect was edited by Peter Humphreys and Elizabeth Solomon and features 20 writers of 6 nationalities from a range of cultural backgrounds. The anthology contains new fiction from Jason Y Ng, author of 'Umrelllas in Bloom' (Blacksmith Books), James Tam, author of 'Man's Last Song' (Proverse) and Nancy Leung, winner of Hong Kong's Top Story prize for 2016 (RTHK/Radio 3).
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“I would sit up all night and sometimes first thing in the morning just banging away at the keyboard hoping to loosen the chains of a mind that had condemned itself. I was in hell and all I could do was stay in that agonizing position and keep writing, so I knew I was still alive.” - Michele Koh
'Rotten Jellybeans' is a comical and surreal adventure into the madcap world of teenage girlhood. Michele Koh looks at her rapid and frightening descent into drug addiction and manic depression with raw and punchy honesty. This collection of 22 short stories and poems about drugs, love, sex and insanity is perhaps a tale that every single young girl making that transition into womanhood can understand. Dark, funny and delightful.
About the Author
Michele Koh is a journalist who has written for publications like Psychologies and Harper’s Bazaar. She is also a scriptwriter and a children’s book illustrator. Michele was editor of the LCC News at the London College of Communication, where she graduated in journalism in 2007.
Born in Singapore in 1978, she attended an all girls’ convent school and began working in television as a children’s show host when she was 11. In her late teens, Michele was diagnosed with bipolar schizo-affective disorder and underwent 7 treatments of electro-convulsive therapy. In the following years she grappled with behavioural addictions, and dependency on prescription drugs. It was during the nadir of her illness that Michele began to write.