Hearts & Other Dead Things
Jeremy wants Maggie back. Rosa hates Simon. Adam can’t get laid. Graham hates cats. Maisie brings her new boyfriend home to meet Mom and Dad. Yuki wants revenge. Jake really should get over his dead girlfriend. Bradley gets offered a donkey. Doris should know better. And Peter calls a number, hoping for a good time.
A handpicked collection of sad, mad, bad stories and poems from the realms of romance, sardonic or macabre, alive with cautionary tales and comic turns, to make you glad you’re single – or wish you were.
compiled by Angelika Rust / Cake & Quill
edited by Catherine Lenderi
cover design by Tabatha Stirling
All proceeds will go to HOME, a charity in Singapore which works for the rights of migrant and domestic workers, and against sex trafficking.
“A ragged, thin Myanmar girl gripped my hand through the fence and sobbed repeatedly, ‘chei-zu tin-bar-te’ (thank you). I had done nothing for her except to say hello and smile. This was my emotional introduction to the dark hypocrisy that seeps into every fibre of Singapore.
The hourly abuse and modern day slavery that exist all over the city-state is almost incomprehensible. Most people ignore it. Over time the pampered living seems to blinker our eyes to the huge divide between helper and employer. Perfectly nice Western families forget their maid’s birthday, or exclaim that their helper hasn’t seen their children for 2 years. But don’t offer to pay for them to return home.
The dehumanization of certain people, usually women, that I witnessed made me feel that I was living during Apartheid or the Holocaust and I couldn’t understand why nobody else seemed bothered. Could they not see it? Seriously?
Whether making a maid walk 3 paces behind carrying all the shopping, or denying these vulnerable women any days off for months, or smacking them, or humiliating them, or rationing their food. I helped where I could. Vitamin tablets, hugs, phone calls home, extra food smuggled through the fence, and more hugs. But I had no political voice there at all and protests are illegal, so I decided to write a book. Writing is what I do. It’s my talent. And I thought, just do it. Write it. Get it out there. Tell their stories. Give them some acknowledgement. Something. Anything.
HOME is an extraordinary charity that actively helps these women to take legal action, to escape abusive employers and re-locate if necessary. They advise on contracts and employment. But most of all, they give hope when there is very little left. This is why we have chosen them as the recipient of the proceeds for this book and are proud to do so.”
– Tabatha Stirling, January 2016
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