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How We Disappeared

How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee

As seen:

  • Women's Prize for Fiction 2020
  • The Big Jubilee Read

By Jing-Jing Lee

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1 review

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Singapore, 1942. As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked.

Only three survivors remain, one of them a tiny child. In a neighbouring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is bundled into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel.

In the year 2000, her mind is still haunted by her experiences there, but she has long been silent about her memories of that time.

It takes twelve-year-old Kevin, and the mumbled confession he overhears from his ailing grandmother, to set in motion a journey into the unknown to discover the truth. Weaving together two timelines and two life-changing secrets, How We Disappeared is an evocative, profoundly moving and utterly dazzling novel heralding the arrival of a new literary star.


13 Oct 2020


This is such a powerful, heart wrenchingly sad book and so cleverly written too, with the 3 strands gradually plaiting together to make the tragic whole. It's set in Singapore during the Japanese invasion but also brings us up to date. Highly recommended.

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