The Star published their interview with Miss Joan Hon today. Thanks to Christina and of course to Mr Choi, the editor. (Who’s Joan Hon? Read this for a quick background update and of course, please come attend her talk on 12 Oct, which is free!)
Hankering for Penang
By CHRISTINA CHIN
PENANG-BORN Joan Hon — an accomplished author and daughter of Singapore’s former finance minister — hopes to retire in her hometown which still evokes a myriad of fond memories.
The 67-year-old ex-teacher sees herself settling back in Penang where she used to live on Logan Road in her childhood days.
“It has always been my intention to retire in Penang where I’m happiest,” said the Singapore-based writer in an email interview on her coming talk in Penang.
Hon said her husband had just passed away and she was trying to redefine herself without him and still had attachments in Singapore.
“Penang is so different from what I remembered as a child. There are so many tall buildings and new condominiums now.
“My childhood haunts have disappeared but my favourite foods like heoh pneah are still available.
“Now I’m discovering a bunch of relatives I have never met which is pretty exciting,” said Hon, whose last visit to Penang was for the Feast of St Anne in Bukit Mertajam recently.
Better known by her pseudonym Han May, Hon will deliver a public talk about writing at the WomenBizSENSE premises, 56, Lorong Selamat, Penang, at 2.30pm on Tuesday.
Hon, whose writing is inspired by “simply having things to tell and talk about” said she would speak about the subject closest to her heart — writing.
“It will be motivational. I will be speaking about how I came to be an accidental author — and liked it; what I have been writing; my books; and how to write.
“Hopefully, some of the participants will find the impulse to start writing if they haven’t tried before,” she said.
Hon graduated with a BSc Honours in Physics and Diploma in Education from Singapore University and is a member of Singapore’s Institute of Physics.
She has published six non-fiction books — two of which received the Highly Commended Book Award and another the Com-mended Award from the National Book Development Council of Singapore while her only fiction work, Star Sapphire, also won the Highly Commended Award.
She also described her father, Hon Sui Sen, as a very well respected person.
“I learned from him integrity and honesty — and not to have too great a regard for money.
“I have never seen him lose his temper and wish that I had that quality in me,” she said, adding that they both shared a love for music, science and books.
For details about her talk, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission is free.