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Rachel Heng Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Suicide Club (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Reclamation (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

On Bodies(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume Four(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Rachel Heng is a bestselling literary fiction author who is best known for her sophomore novel “The Great Reclamation.”

This was a novel that Oprah Daily, Washington Post, and TIME Magazine named a Most Anticipated Book and Indie Next Pick in 2023.

Her debut novel “Suicide Club” had also been a bestselling title in Singapore and would go on to be translated into more than ten languages.

Before she became a novelist, she published short fiction. Her work was published in the likes of Best New Singaporean Short Stories, McSweeney’s Quarterly, and The New Yorker.
Her works have also made the longlist for the Sunday Times Short Story Award. She has been published in Esquire, The Atlantic, and The New York Times.

For her work, she has received fellowships and grants from the National Arts Council of Singapore, the National Endowment of the Arts, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Fine Arts Work Center, Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center.
The Singaporean-born author went to Columbia University for her Comparative Literature & Society bachelor’s degree. Rachel would then attend the Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin where she got her MFA in playwriting and fiction.
Heng currently works at Wesleyan University where she works teaching English.

The actual writing of Rachel Heng’s debut novel took a little over a year. Nonetheless, she had been working on the title for much longer, even if just in her head.

Her first attempt at penning a work of fiction was during the 2013 NaNoWriMo when she penned a terrible draft that she abandoned when she had written about 20,000 words. Looking back the work had a lot in common with her debut work Suicide Club.
A few months later she penned a short work of fiction set in a world where just about everyone was immortal. As such, while she began penning her first draft of suicide club in 2015 she had the idea in her head in various forms for almost two years.
Unlike her previous experience with trying to publish short fiction, the publishing process for her debut novel was much smoother. What made the process easier this time around was that she had attended Faber Academy’s novel writing class.
She had begun writing her manuscript while she was still a student at the academy. She had her first break when Faber published the excerpt of her short story in an anthology.
Soon enough, agents started making contact with some editors asking her to forward her manuscript once she had an agent.

She eventually found an agent and after several rounds of edits and submissions, there were set-up meetings with editors and not long after an auction.

When Rachel Heng initially wrote the manuscript for “Suicide Club,” she had been working a full-time job which was very intense.

She used to have a very short window before she headed to work when she could write a few pages. At that time, she would wake up at 6 a.m. and research or pen a chapter and then leave for work.

She would, later on, leave her job as she intended to become a full-time author. It was after she quit her job that she would join a master of fine arts program which made her days more flexible even though she used to write on a routine.
As a full-time author, she still wakes up at 7 a.m. and after having her breakfast she distracts herself with Twitter and her cat before she begins writing. Aside from her writing, she loves to indulge in her hobby of making lopsided pots.
When she quit her job to start working on her MFA, she had too much free time that it started getting her down. While initially books were her escape she was not used to writing and reading benign 100% of what she did.
It was this that got her into pottery, which is now her escape away from her day job as a full-time author.

Rachel Heng’s novel “Suicide Club” is a work set in New York City in the future. It is a place where people are consumed by the pursuit of immortality and many live for up to three centuries.

The lead is a Lifer named Lea Kirino whose genetic dice have given her the chance to live forever. However, she will need to do everything right and be an overachiever to do so.

Leah has been very successful trading on the New York Stock Exchange selling and buying human organs. She is living a very good life and with a fiance who is just as perfect and a beautiful apartment life could not be any better.
With the right balance of low-impact exercise, rigorous juicing, and health technology she might just live forever. However, her perfect life is upended when on a crowded sidewalk she spots her estranged father.

His sudden reappearance in her life is what marks her downfall as she now finds herself in the Suicide Club. This is a mysterious network of powerful rebels and individuals who rebel against immortality and want to live and die on their own terms.
It is a future world in which death is highly illegal and also taboo. It is not long before Lea is asked to choose between a bittersweet and short time with a man who is virtually a stranger and a short but sanitized immortal existence.

“The Great Reclamation” is Rachel Heng’s most popular novel which is a sweeping work set in Singapore, a country that is always changing. The lead is a uniquely gifted boy whose childhood love will complicate the fate of his country and community.
Boon had been born into a fishing community amid the beauty and heat of twentieth-century Singapore in the very last years before the end of British colonial rule.

He happens to be a gentle boy who does not care for fishing as he prefers to instead play with Siok Mei the neighbor girl. But then he learns that he is uniquely gifted with an ability to find movable, bountiful islands which no one else can.
He feels a new sense of possibility and obligation. He has something he believes his community will need and which he is sure will impress the neighbor girl he has fallen in love with.

By the time they are teenagers, Siok Mei and Boon find themselves caught in historical events as grief intrudes, the resistance rises, the Japanese army invades and the fishing community finds itself in jeopardy.
With Singapore hurtling toward rebirth, the newly empowered friends have to make a decision on what they are willing to let go and who they want to be.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Rachel Heng

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