In this unusual, engaging, and intimate collection of personal essays, Lambda Literary Award finalist Tania De Rozario recalls growing up as a queer, brown, fat girl in Singapore, blending memoir with elements of history, pop culture, horror films, and current events to explore the nature of monsters and what it means to be different.
Tania De Rozario was just twelve years old when she was gay-exorcised. Convinced that her boyish style and demeanor were a sign of something wicked, her mother and a pair of her church friends tried to “banish the evil” from Tania. That day, the young girl realized that monsters weren’t just found in horror tales. They could lurk anywhere–including your own family and community–and look just like you.
Dinner on Monster Island is Tania’s memoir of her life and childhood in Singapore–where she discovered how difference is often perceived as deviant, damaged, disobedient, and sometimes, demonic. As she pulls back the veil on life on the small island, she reveals the sometimes kind, sometimes monstrous side of all of us. Intertwined with her experiences is an analysis of the role of women in horror. Tania looks at films and popular culture such as Carrie, The Witch, and The Ring to illuminate the ways in which women are often portrayed as monsters, and how in real life, monsters are not what we think.
Moving and lyrical, written with earnest candor, and leavened with moments of humor and optimism, Dinner on Monster Island is a deeply personal examination of one woman’s experience grappling with her identity and a fantastic analysis of monsters, monstrous women and the worlds in which they live.