Amanda Lee Koe Recommends...

“Taking a spin through the Smiths album Hatful of Hollow is one of the things I allow myself when faced with troubles on the page. It’s not so much to inspire as to reset. There’s a relaxing familiarity in coming back to songs that were on heavy rotation for me growing up as a teenage misfit in Singapore. The listening experience is less urgent now, and functions more as a calmative in retracing that line from Morrissey through to Oscar Wilde (whom Morrissey adored growing up as a teenage misfit in Manchester). The songs, words, and arrangements have a poetic disjuncture of the saddest words delivered with casual insouciance. Sometimes music seems so immediate, so emotive, it makes me wonder why I write at the distance I do. But it is this sort of constant questioning that pushes me through, demands that I engage with the medium all the more closely. I write, and the pleasure, the privilege is mine.”
—Amanda Lee Koe, author of Delayed Rays of a Star (Nan A. Talese, 2019)