New Book: “Drafts of a Suicide Note”


[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] BerNews recently announced a new book, Mandy-Suzanne Wong’s Drafts of a Suicide Note (Regal House Publishing, 2019). As BerNews points out, Dr. Wong was born and raised in Bermuda. Her other award-winning work includes Awabi: A Duet of Short Stories (Digging Press, 2019) and the nonfiction project Artificial Wilderness (forthcoming). James R. Gapinski (author of Edge of the Known Bus Line) writes:

“Ten unique suicide notes, no dead body, and a washed-up academic who thinks literary scholarship can solve this mystery. Rife with innovative textual experiments, touches of humor, and dramatic intrigue, Mandy-Suzanne Wong’s Drafts of a Suicide Note is a challenging and satisfying read. In a book full of mistrust and backstabs, truth only matters if self-gain comes with it, and this gloriously dark book radiates with each character’s messed-up version of light. Wong’s debut novel twists conventions and wrings something new.”

Description: “As far as I know, you can only die once…” But when Aetna Simmons disappears from her lonely Bermuda cottage, she leaves behind not one but ten suicide notes. Ten different suicide notes. And no other trace to speak of, not even a corpse, as if she’d never existed. Drafts of a Suicide Note is the darkly enigmatic love letter of Kenji Okada-Caines, a petty criminal who once exposited on English literary classics and now, marooned on his native isle, nurtures an obsession with Aetna’s writing. His murky images of a woman with ten voices and no face launch him into waking nightmares, driving him to confront his lifetime’s worth of failures as a scholar, lover, and opiate addict. His wild conspiracy theories of Aetna as an impostor ten times over lead him to the doorstep of the Japanese mother who turned her back on him, and to the horrifying discovery that the great love of his life isn’t who she seems to be. Kenji’s is a story of dire misunderstandings and the truths we hide even from the ones we love.

Here are excerpts from BerNews: [. . .] RHP has nominated Dr. Wong’s debut for the PEN Open Book Award, Foreword Indies Book Prize, OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and other international literary honors. The novel has already been named a finalist for the Permafrost Book Prize, a semifinalist for the Conium Review Book Prize, and shortlisted for the Santa Fe Writers’ Project Literary Award.

“Writers praise the book’s experiments with Bermuda’s dialect, which French-Australian novelist J.L. Crozier calls ‘a version of English utterly its own, so much so that it comes close to being a character in its own right.” [. . .]

For original article, see

Mandy-Suzanne Wong
Raleigh, North Carolina: Regal House Publishing, October 2019
431 pages
ISBN 978-1947548824

For more about Mandy-Suzanne Wong, go to:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s