Sumiko Tan doesn't rule out restarting personal column
Sumiko Tan's personal column might not stop with her new book
For 22 years, Ms Sumiko Tan shared her personal life in her column every other Sunday.
She wrote over 400 pieces, penning her thoughts on finding romance, the Chinoiserie disco at the then Hyatt Regency hotel and the death of her father.
It was not easy to drop her personal column to focus on her new interview series, Lunch With Sumiko, which was launched in January and appears in The Sunday Times' Insight section.
"When you do something for 22 years, you do get attached to it... Over the years I had readers writing in, and there was a certain number of people who liked it," she told The New Paper.
Ms Tan, 53, the executive editor of The Straits Times, published Sundays With Sumiko, a collection of 74 columns written from 1994 to last year.
Arranged in chronological order, they chart the trajectory of her life's journey: confessions about the stigma of singlehood, getting married at 46 and the difficulty of coping with her new roles as wife and stepmother.
She said her columns were not just about her, but they record a Singaporean woman's journey from pre-independence and how she grew up with changes around her.
"After the publicity of the book came out, a woman wrote in and said she read the excerpt about my dad dying. That triggered some emotions for her because she recounted about her mother and herself.
"I do not think the columns are only about me, but everybody would have lived through (such experiences)," she said.
Ms Tan added that she was grateful to the over 100 readers who turned up last Sunday at the Popular bookstore in Nex shopping mall when she held a book signing session.
When you write a column, you want to be read. When someone does read your work, you feel very grateful, especially when they tell you it resonated with them.
Ms Sumiko Tan
"When you write a column, you want to be read," she said. "When someone does read your work, you feel very grateful, especially when they tell you it resonated with them."
She intends to concentrate on the Lunch With Sumiko series, although she does not rule out restarting her personal column.
"I needed more life experience as a columnist. Now that I am doing the Lunch With Sumiko column, I meet more people and that has widened my world view," she said.
Sundays With Sumiko by Straits Times Press is available at $29.96 at all leading bookstores. There will be two meet-the-author sessions with Ms Tan on July 28 and Aug 26 at the National Library and the Kinokuniya Main Store at Ngee Ann City, respectively.