Rachel Heng is the author of the novels The Great Reclamation (forthcoming from Riverhead) and Suicide Club (Henry Holt, 2018), which has been translated into ten languages worldwide and won the Gladstone Library Writer-In-Residence Award. Heng's short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, McSweeney's Quarterly, Glimmer Train, Kenyon Review, and has been recognized by anthologies including Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and Best New Singaporean Short Stories. Her nonfiction has been listed among Best American Essays’ Notable Essays and published in Al Jazeera, Guernica, BOMB Magazine, and elsewhere. She has received grants and fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, Sewanee Writers' Conference, Fine Arts Work Center, and the National Arts Council of Singapore. Rachel received her MFA in fiction and playwriting from the Michener Center for Writers, University of Texas at Austin, and her BA in comparative literature and society from Columbia University.
I have just finished my second novel and am about to embark on the ever-daunting process of beginning my next project. As so many writers have said before: it never gets any easier, and each time I start something new, I find myself filled with trepidation, wondering how I did it before, whether I can do it again, how one gets from blank page to a fully realized world and story. This fellowship provides not only the gift of time and space, but also that of encouragement, fortitude, and faith. In recent months, I have started a new job teaching full time at a university and given birth to my first child. As exciting and fulfilling as these changes have been, I’ve also had to recalibrate my relationship to writing. What once was the center of my life now finds itself jostling for time, attention, mental and emotional energy. This fellowship will give me the space to experiment and explore, to think and dream, and hopefully, to make something new.