Corridor is a debut collection of short stories by Alfian Sa’at – the author you may know from Szkice Malajskie, published in 2022 by Tajfuny.. While the texts in Szkice Malajskie are very short and condensed, in Corridor we are dealing with stories more classic in form, set in modern Singapore. The charatcers are of different ages, but share the difficulty of fitting in the surrounding reality and the alienation from the social norms imposed on them by the majority. As the title suggests, they are also all tenants of HDB, Singaporean municipal flats. They wander through the corridors, visit their relatives, and they always fall asleep wishing to wake up in a simpler world.

Among them there is May-Lin, attracted to any kind of kindness coming from her friend; a married couple dreaming of winning a trip to Australia; a boy suffering from insomnia who fantasizes about the fifth floor’s window, lit up all night. The protagonists get involved in relationships and misunderstandings or, like Robert from Disco, they dare to do something they never did before.

In his stories, Alfian Sa’at gives voice to minorities: he writes about non-heteronormative people, about Malaya, about followers of Islam, about women sabotaging male domination within their relationships. With compassion, he analyses the troubles experienced by his characters: love disappointments, musings over past events, and ordinary everyday problems.
He weaves many references to Malayan culture into the text, including foreign-language words that give the narrative a special character. There is a glossary at the end of the book which explains selected words and expressions.

The short story collection Corridor was awarded the Singapore Literature Prize in 1998.

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