I embrace the disgust at my own image, my bodily burden. I understand myself as a monster, only capable of ugliness, an unwanted distortion without the potential to be loved. In time, the light wanes. There is no more tenderness, not for the self.

A trio of essays about time, the body, trauma, and the impossible search for tenderness and human connection.

Cover artwork and design by Maddison Colvin.

Allow me to say this: Daryl Li's wry, sardonic, self-deprecating voice rings clear and true, and never fails to strike the right chord in my ear. He is proving himself to be one of the most promising and compelling essayists of our generation in Singapore.

Daryl Qilin Yam, novelist and arts organiser

In Tenderly, Tenderly, Daryl Li admits to the vulnerability that cultured kids share: our tastes will not save us. Works by Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Wong Kar-wai, David Lynch, Bora Chung and the like pepper Li’s prose. They serve as points of (dis)connection as one navigates heartbreaks, bad gums, and the urge to create. The voice in Li’s coming-of-age stories is steadfast and self-reflexive. “Can I bear to tell you my secrets?”: Li wrestles with notions about one’s masculinity and monstrosity to gift us this book.

Tim Tim Cheng, poet

"that we may scavenge the light of passing days"

For general enquiries, please contact the publisher Atomic Bohemian here.

News of more stockists to come.

People in Singapore may also purchase the book direct from me. Please contact me!

Joint Zoom Launch with Cath Barton (Mr Bosch and His Owls)

Monday, 6 May 2024
8.30pm (SG)/1.30pm (UK)
Eventbrite link


More events news to come!