It was a story game, wasn’t it?
In the humid dark of a eucalyptus-scented room, a woman named Hui lies on a mattress telling stories about herself to her listener, a little girl. She talks about her identity as the child of an immigrant, her feelings about being in a mixed-race marriage, her opinions on mental health. But as the stories progress, it becomes clear that a volatile secret is lurking beneath their surface. There are events in Hui’s past that have great significance for the person she’s become, but that have gone missing from her memory. What is it, exactly, that is haunting Hui? And just as importantly—what is the room that Hui is lying in? Who is the little girl she keeps talking to? And who, actually, is Hui herself?
As the conversation continues, what unfolds is a breathtaking and unexpected journey through layers of story toward truth and recovered identity; a memoir that reenacts, in tautly novelistic fashion, the process of healing that author Shze-Hui Tjoa moved through in order to recover memories lost to complex-PTSD and to, eventually, reconstruct her sense of self. Stunning in its originality and intimacy, Tjoa’s debut memoir The Story Game is a piercing tribute to selfhood and sisterhood, a genre-shattering testament to the power of imagination, and a one-of-a-kind work of art.