4. Is We Rose Up Slowly about Australia or Singapore?
- Both. We Rose Up Slowly reflects the diverse influences, links and roots of the author, Jon Gresham, who has lived in Singapore for over twelve years and was born in England and emigrated to Australia as a child. Singaporean themes, events, food and places feature in We Rose Up Slowly, while the voice and tone of the writing has an Australian flavour.
- Different cultural sensibilities spark off one another while assumptions and biases collapse in We Rose Up Slowly.
- All but one of the stories in We Rose Up Slowly was written in Singapore. Six of the stories are set in and around Singapore with another three set in Australia.
- The Singaporean settings featured in We Rose Up Slowly include a law firm and karaoke pub in shop houses in Tanjong Pagar, a condominium in The Sail at Marina Bay, the jungle paths of Bukit Timah Hill, a house in suburban Siglap, the international night club Zouk, a Halal Restaurant on Kampong Bahru road, the ocean off the East Coast, a magic shop in Peninsula Shopping Centre, and the quiet of Bukit Brown Cemetery.
- There is an Australian style to We Rose Up Slowly. Even those stories set in Singapore and Jakarta have a blunt, plain speaking Australian ‘voice’. The text is seasoned with Australian phrases and attitudes: ‘chook’, ‘stunned mullet’, ‘Tuna Mornay’, ‘mate’, ‘sparky’.
- Australian settings also feature in We Rose Up Slowly: The laid back, quietness of a country town, the Adelaide suburbs. Characters drive long distances to and from places.
- One story, A Girl and a Guy in a Kijang in Kemang, set in the vibrant, chaos of modern Jakarta is inspired by the rich mythical, traditions of West Java.