“Is there any hotel anywhere so inseparably linked with the city around it as Raffles?”
That’s the question posed by best-selling author Pico Iyer in the first pages of his book, This Could Be Home: Raffles Hotel and the City of Tomorrow.
Drawing upon his numerous stays over 35 years at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, and the fast-ascending city all around it, Pico — a lifelong global soul — reflects on the “Grand Old Lady’s” literary legacy and its mark on writers everywhere.
How have Singapore and the Raffles Hotel evolved to meet the needs of a shifting world? As the Raffles Hotel’s first Writer-in-Residence, Pico explores the restored grounds and reveals a rich literary legacy, which has featured “cameos” by the world’s biggest literary names, such as Joan Didion, Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham, among others.
“Any writer who gets to be part of Raffles’ rich literary tradition considers himself fortunate to be following in such a distinguished line,” Pico acknowledged. “And I was very happy to get to spend time with many of the people who are bringing the hotel into a new century.”
He also pulls back the curtains on a personal, thoughtful and surprising look at a Singapore travellers and locals often take for granted.
“The fact remains that you can’t really say you’ve been to Singapore until you’ve stepped through the columned corridors of Raffles,” noted Pico. “Often, I suspect, people come to Singapore to visit Raffles as much as they come to Raffles to enjoy Singapore.”
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