GOODWOOD by Chris Johnston


At one level at least, memory is a story you can choose to embellish or edit. So why do I tell people about this one – why do I write this one – instead of other things I dislike? I think the uncertainty fuels it, the mystery. The chance that it might not have occurred. This elusiveness keeps me grasping for it even now.

In 1979, writer Chris Johnston experienced a haunting at the Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore, and the memory of his fear has carried through the decades. But how reliable are our memories?  Thinking through his boyhood, his family and the Japanese invasion of Singapore, Chris explores how objects, places and events are intractably rooted in how we remember them, and how doubt can imbue the past with a sense of mystery and wonder.

Read his tense and engaging multimedia essay here.