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Short Stories for Women
“Beauty begins in the mind.” —Dr.TWL
Want to know the secret to being beautiful? Begin by transforming your mind.
The Talisman is the first in a series of haunting short reads by renowned Asian beauty expert and host of popular beauty podcast Dermatologist Talks: Science of Beauty, Dr Teo Wan Lin. Get ready to be mesmerised by the tales of imperial consorts of ancient China, reimagined to challenge conventional beauty stereotypes. Ghosts, ghouls and spirits taunt the beautiful, uncovering the true face of evil, at the enthralling and captivating pace of an under-60 minute escapade.
Momu is the ugliest empress in all of Chinese history. Legend had it that her appearance was so hideous that the Yellow Emperor appointed her chief exorcist, for even the evil spirits were afraid of her. She is born cursed with an appearance so terrible it causes the midwife to faint. Village children cry when they see her and flee. When Momu turns 10, the mysterious deaths of beautiful girls, one after another, having fallen into a cursed well, begin to trouble the once quiet village. Momu, is sent to rid the well of its demons, along the way encountering darkness and evil in the most unexpected ways. Not in the form of a cursed face, but as the blackest evil within human hearts.
About the author
Dr Teo is the author of “On Thoughts, Emotions, Facial Expressions and Aging”, a landmark paper on the science behind the Brain-Skin-Connection, published in the International Journal of Dermatology. The science of beauty is in the art of expression, she posits. Our thoughts and emotions imprint on our aging faces via facial expressions cultivated over a lifetime of memories, influenced by our imagination. She is especially interested in the hauntological interpretations of beauty vs ugliness, light and darkness in the context of the human experience.
Dr.TWL’s short reads are perfect for busy women craving for some mid- or end-of-day escapism. The compact narratives transport you to a world far-flung, imparting alternative interpretations that challenge your perception of beauty and aesthetics.
Do you have a dark memory that you hide from yourself, and the world? These memories, as these tales are read, you may just find yourself revisiting.
Rejection, acceptance, love, beauty, hatred and ugliness are emotions common to all. Memories like molten glass, are malleable. How we choose to process them, can change.
Beautiful concubines, ugly empresses, deceitful human hearts and beloved ghosts haunt us in this anthology featuring the glitterati of Ancient China.
Masterfully crafted tales revive the ghosts of our own pasts.
Gothic meets historical
This anthology of genre-bending short stories for women offers a mischievous perspective- a reimagination by the author of ancient Chinese beauty cliches and wicked ingenuity.
Enter the world of the original crazy rich who toy not with handbags or fancy cars, but with poisoned mirrors and human lives.
Beauty, a talent used for political agenda. A clever disguise. Compact narratives packed with ingenuity. Plot twists that simultaneously surprise, inspire and haunt.
We each have our own story. What’s yours?
“My name is Momu. I was the fourth wife of the Yellow Emperor and served as a talisman.”
“her blinking eyes, like the gaps between a fluttering bird’s feathers.”
“The well is haunted. Last night, yet another child fell in…”
Mysterious deaths of all 13 Shi beauties.
How has this story changed your perception of beauty? What do you think Dr.TWL is trying to say?
We have a place for you inside the Reading Room. Where it’s now your turn to share.
Feel beautiful in your own skin, one story at a time.