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• From laments on urban change and ruminations about the garden to reflections on writing and meditations on grief, Daryl Li’s debut collection of literary nonfiction charts a path through topics as diverse as ecology, war, mourning, and urban transformation.
• Loosely dubbed “essays”, the pieces blend disparate genres such as personal essay, cultural criticism, short fiction, and photography, exploring the formal possibilities of the essayistic approach.
• The playful approach to structure and form is emblematised by “Ghost Stories”, an unusual piece in which a short story unfolds alongside interjections—recollections, notes, and marginalia—to produce a self-reflexive study of creative work.
• These essays engage with themes of trauma, memory, and identity, describing how our experiences are filtered through archetypes, stereotypes, and myth—and how memory and identity are constructed in our acts of storytelling and fictionalisation.
• Lyrical, introspective, and experimental, The Inventors is a unique work of creative nonfiction in Singapore’s literary scene.