About Meira Chand
Meira Chand is of Indian-Swiss parentage and was born and educated in London at Putney High School.
She studied art at St. Martin’s School of Art and later specialised in textile design at Hammersmith Art School. In 1962 she left England to settle in Japan with her Indian husband. Although she spent several years in India in the early 1970s, she afterwards returned again to live in Japan. In 1997 she moved to Singapore, where she currently lives.
Meira Chand’s multi-cultural heritage is reflected in her novels, which explore issues of identity and cultural dislocation. Five of her novels, The Gossamer Fly, Last Quadrant, The Bonsai Tree, The Painted Cage and A Choice of Evils, are all set in Japan. Contemporary India is the location of House of the Sun that, in 1990, was adapted for the stage in London where it had a successful run at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Also set in India, but in Calcutta during the early days of the Raj, A Far Horizon considers the notorious story of the Black Hole of Calcutta. Her new novel, A Different Sky takes place against the backdrop of colonial pre-Independence Singapore. The book examines an era that includes the Second World War and the subsequent Japanese occupation of Singapore, and also the rise of post-war nationalism in Malaya.
Meira Chand is an associate member of the Centre for the Arts, National University of Singapore and has been Chairperson for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the region of South East Asia and South Pacific. She is involved in several programmes in Singapore to encourage and mentor young writers and to raise awareness in the country to the pleasures of reading.
Praise for A Different Sky…
“ Chand proves herself a master of the modern Asian epic in this tale …she endows her characters with humanity and complexity, …grounding …their histories in solid research, and she offers a credible, compelling panorama of the tragedy and resilience, culture and individuality, political evolution, dissolution, and renaissance of 20th-century Singapore. ”
Publishers Weekly, starred review, September 2011
Meira Chand’s latest novel, A Different Sky is published by Harvill Secker and is set against the backdrop of pre-Independence Singapore. In the UK the bookshop chain Waterstones voted the novel their Cardholder’s Book Circle Choice for July 2010. In the US the novel was on Oprah Winfrey’s recommended reading list for November 2011. The book is long listed for the Impac Dublin literary award 2012.