Let Me Tell You Something About That Night: Strange Tales


ISBN: 978-0-9805717-1-4 Format: Hardback Rights: All rights: Transit Lounge


Be warned. Mothers should not read these stories to their children, even though they might contain a lonely elf, a talking moon, a butterfly that wants to be a rabbit, or a boy who was born with a flower as an unfortunate appendage. Hovering within the realm of fables, myths and fairy tales, here are unlikely bedtime stories that are best read on a dark, stormy night, and at the risk of wounding the soul.

“Cyril Wong is proving himself to be a prose stylist of a calibre that threatens to outdo his poetry, with words so poignant and heartfelt, and a narrative drive that’s often direct and bold yet breathtaking in its fragile beauty.” 
—Gerrie Lim, author of Invisible Trade and Inside the Outsider

“… his work expands beyond simple sexuality … to embrace themes of love, alienation and human relationships of all kinds.” —TIME (Asia)

Cyril Wong is the author of seven poetry collections, including tilting our plates to catch the light (firstfruits 2007) and Excess Baggage & Claim (Transit Lounge 2007).

He has received both the Singapore Literature Prize (2006) and the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award for Literature (2005) in his country. His poems have appeared in Chinese Erotic Poems (Everyman’s Library 2007) and Language for a New Century (W. W. Norton 2008), as well as in journals like Atlanta Review and Poetry International.

More at cyrilwong.wordpress.com

JASON WING is a Sydney-based artist who strongly identifies with his Chinese and Aboriginal heritage. Wing began as a street artist and has since expanded his practice to incorporate photomedia, installation and painting. Influenced by his bi-cultural upbringing, Wing explores the ongoing challenges that impact his wider community.

Calling into question our understanding of history and of our current socio-political reality, Wing repurposes everyday objects and imagery, creating works that are both visually confronting and deceptively simple. Wing holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Graphic Design, Sydney Graphics College. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. Significant solo exhibitions include: People of Substance, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, Virginia, USA, 2012; Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea, 2011; Tree Change, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; and The Other Other, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide, 2011. Selected group exhibitions include: Wondermountain, Penrith Regional Gallery and the Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains, 2014; The Native Institute, Blacktown Arts Centre, Blacktown, 2013; Making Change, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, 2012; Cold Eels and Distant Thoughts, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2012; Bungaree: The First Australian, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman, 2012; Look Closely Now, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, NSW, 2012; and Made
in China Australia, Salamanca Art Centre, Hobart, 2012. In 2012 he won the Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize for his provocative work Australia was Stolen by Armed Robbery. Wing’s work is held in both private and public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Artbank, Sydney; Blacktown Council, Blacktown, NSW; and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, Virginia, USA.


Wong takes fairytales and works them into a surreal lustre…the heart of these stories gestures to a time before fairytales were saccharine fantasies. Their magic springs from the fact that they incorporate — within realms crammed with elves and water spirits and weird metamorphoses — an unvarnished sense of life’s desolations. Some deal overtly with sexuality: The Boy With The Flower That Grew Out Of His Ass is a fable of wounding poignancy about homophobia; The Queen & Her Eventual Knowledge Of Love is a post-mortem coming-out story. Others stray towards more classical magical realism. A vivid collection that will enchant and disturb.

Cameron Woodhead, The Age, Aug. 29 2009

With their largely timeless, mostly placeless settings (though let it be known that several stories are clearly set in Singapore, with the different races represented), the focus is tightly on the individual and his or her moments of despair and epiphany, cutting swiftly to the emotional quick…These are fairy tales that provide readers with the simple pleasure of being transported into fantasy realms, yet they also offer the sharp bite of contemporary issues and themes that appeals to a more mature audience than the folkish narratives would initially suggest.

Stephanie Yap, The Straits Times, Sep. 6 2009