Literature

Featured Titles
Layers Between, TheLayers Between, The by Claase, Celia

In this volume of poetry, natural phenomena such as Matter, Water and Space are given their own voices; Philosophical concepts like Entropy, Consciousness and Information are allowed to speak for themselves; 'Yin and Yan' and the biblical figure 'Eve' narrate their own stories. By employing recognized scientific findings to introduce a fresh, some may call fantastical, hypothesis, the writer defamiliarises the origins of our universe, the workings of our bodies, of our minds and life itself. There are poems that draw the reader back into everyday life and its many speculative questions, by taking a closer look at the transient state of nature under the influence of time; how humans nestle into the spaces that matter provides; our attraction to and curiosity about the surreal and the spiritual; and how everything that has been mentioned is nothing but recycled works of art.

Snow Bridge And Other Stories, TheSnow Bridge And Other Stories, The by Chatting, Philip

The settings of the stories here are drawn from a life spent in many countries. Several focus intently on a particular relationship: that between a husband and wife, mother and daughter, brothers, friends, partners, climbing-buddies, employer and employee; the relationship with an inner self; putative relationships that never quite begin, and relationships with a location, or the inhabitants of a small town. Other stories explore the long-term expatriate's dilemma of engaging with a place not his or her own at the price of diminishing intimacy with the country of his or her birth. The impact of the collection may prompt readers to reflect on the nature of their own relationships and the place we each occupy in our own worlds.

Kitchen Tiles: A Collection Of Salty, Wet Stories From The Bar-Rooms Of Hong KongKitchen Tiles: A Collection Of Salty, Wet Stories From The Bar-Rooms Of Hong Kong by Roberts, Lorette

The Cantonese call anyone lecherous, and anything salacious, harm sup - literally salty and wet. And the code word for all things harm sup is "kitchen tiles." Anyone who has stepped into a Chinese kitchen knows it is like a war zone, with broth and condiments spilt all over the place; hence the tiles are deemed salty and wet. Kitchen Tiles looks at the lascivious aspects of Hong Kong society. These 50 stories of gamblers, drinkers, masseuses and millionaires are based on the real-life experiences of Feng Chi-shun, author of Diamond Hill. Names and circumstances may have been changed, but the sentiment and spirit remain authentically Hong Kong.

Knot Is Where You Tie A Piece Of Rope, A: Burmese Writing In IowaKnot Is Where You Tie A Piece Of Rope, A: Burmese Writing In Iowa by Myay Hmone Lwin; Natasa Durovicova (Eds.)

For over four decades, Myanmar was isolated from the international flow of communications, media and to some extent ideas. In gathering here writers who matured, come of age, were born into, and then tested the boundaries of Burmese prose and poetry, this anthology provides a much-needed sampler of a little-known literary culture. What the writers have in common is that between 1994 and 2014, they all were residents of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. There the similarities between them end, and we hear a vast range of literary voices.

Scuttlebutt, TheScuttlebutt, The by Myay Hmone Lwin

"With Myay Hmone Lwin's poetry, you don't notice the nuts and bolts. You gawk at the whole sledgehammer of his words, as it swings at any sophistry, moral, social and political. Aiming to reveal a deeper, purer, more powerful truth, sometimes beyond sense, his poems are guided by instinct and good faith." - Yeow Kai Chai, festival director of Singapore Writers Festival

Dutybound: A Singapore War Hero Remembered by Miller, David

This is a true story of a young police inspector, Halford Boudewyn, who joins an Allied spy ring in Occupied Singapore during World War II. His mission - smuggle classified documents out from a POW camp to prevent another major invasion by the Imperial Japanese Army. Now for the first time, his complete story can be told in his own words.

Land Of Mercy: A Tale Of The Three Jewels In TibetLand Of Mercy: A Tale Of The Three Jewels In Tibet by Fan Wen

Fan Wen manages to eave a magical and intriguing tale of love, greed, betrayal, and sacrifice. This spiritual quest, which all starts from the conflict between two prominent families living the snow mountain of Eastern Tibet, ends in a journey in pursuit of personal salvation, self-worth and enlightenment. Steeped in the lore of Tibetan Buddhism or Lamaism, Fan Wen brings his readers into a world of magic and mystery where there are no limits to human capability and where legend, myth and history intertwine and enthral. An unforgettable read for those who are especially fond of Tibet, the Tibetan people and their culture.

Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, TheArt Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, The by Liew, Sonny

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye is a biography showcasing the life and work of Chan Hock Chye, a pioneering but largely forgotten comics artist in Singapore. With a career spanning more than five decades, from pre-independent Singapore through its three Prime Ministers, Chan's work reflects the changing political and economic environment in Singapore. Containing Chan's original illustrations, paintings and sketches, this is a groundbreaking work and labour of love aimed at recapturing the portrait of an artist, whose deep passion for comics and country is given a fitting tribute by award-winning comics artist Sonny Liew.

Singpowrimo 2015: The AnthologySingpowrimo 2015: The Anthology by Yam, Darryl Qilin; J A Champion & J. Ip (Eds.)

Singapore Poetry Writing Month, or as we affectionately call it, SingPoWriMo. Write one poem a day for thirty days in the cruel month of April: that was the challenge we gave the Internet a year ago. This anthology brings together the best of the hundreds of poems that were submitted in 2015, with verses written in response to I've- woken-up- in-Bishan-Park-but-it's-3am scenarios, to impromptu poems written about desire in dark places. In the spirit of community, we are proud to feature first-time poets beside established ones, and poems written in code-speak beside the recently-revived form of the empat perkataan.

Deeds Of LightDeeds Of Light by Tse Hao Guang

The city is a prism through which ordinary life, at first a seeming undifferentiated white, splits into its constituent colours. In Deeds of Light, words are prisms through which experiences are revealed. Belying a desire to make new and bright the usual ways of talking about place and belonging, these poems in both form and content navigate the myriad ways in which the sound of speech and the habits of culture interact and assert themselves.

Unnatural SelectionUnnatural Selection by Bryant, Shelly

Across the story that unfolds in Unnatural Selection, Shelly Bryant pursues many of the impulses that speculative literature typically seeks to accomplish, along with the themes they explore. Her poetry has been described as 'a puzzle', 'thoughtful' and 'nuanced', which is able to 'work with the nature of humanity' and 'confront the human experience.' While all of this is certainly true, the secret ingredient is the sense of intelligent mischief that knits each poem together.

Today, Fish OnlyToday, Fish Only by Kinnas, Miho

In a series of finely wrought poems, Miho Kinnas tells of leaving one place that was not quite home for another, and of learning to make herself at home in each. On revisiting the country of her birth, she weaves a story of transitions, of locations, of junctures and memories. It is an investigation into otherness (both being and perceiving 'the other') as much as it is a pondering of herself.

HarbouringHarbouring by Gordon, S C

In our deepest moments of loss, we seek safe harbours in which we can shelter every memory of every touch of the departed loved one. And occasionally, in the profoundest moments of grief, we find hope in shared love and mutual understanding. It is that hope that sustains us, and propels us to continue on, even in the shadow of loss. In her poignant poetry, S C Gordon takes us to each of these harbours, allowing us an intimate look at the heartrending experience of grief following an unexpected loss.

Before We Are GhostsBefore We Are Ghosts by Tan Lixin

How do we handle loss? Why do we resist and accept change? Before We Are Ghosts explores the inevitable in life, and as a sequel to Keeping Skeletons, gives closure to the latter and comes to a conclusion that we can only keep going in circles until we learn to embrace loss and change as they are.

Crossworlds: Short Stories On Global ThemesCrossworlds: Short Stories On Global Themes by Choo, Suzanne (Ed.)

This anthology features ten short stories written by internationally acclaimed writers around the world, including Chimamanda Adichie, Margaret Atwood, Nadine Gordimer, Ha Jin, Ken Liu, Bharati Mukherjee, Madhuri Vijay and Wena Poon among others. The stories are set in diverse settings - from Singapore to Canada, China, India, Nigeria, South Africa, the United States - and deal with global issues such as terrorism, the plight of asylum seekers and refugees, immigrant experiences, modern-day slavery and the effects of capitalism. It is hoped that these stories will prompt deeper, more empathetic, and layered connections with multiple others in our world.

Cherry DaysCherry Days by Leo, David

A coming-of-age story set in 1950s Singapore, written with photorealistic clarity. Skinny and his friends grow up in a self-sufficient kampong along an unnamed road. Reading about their lives, a distinctive character of their long-gone childhood and of Singapore emerges-raw from a recently concluded war, alive with student riots and social movements. Among the themes explored by the narrator is one of change, such as the transition from rural to urban living and the role of women in a developing society, as if inevitably the road must lead to it. Stories of love, death and forgiveness line the unnamed road at the heart of life in the kampong.

Beauty Is A WoundBeauty Is A Wound by Eka Kurniawan; Annie Tucker Trans.

This novel combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony. The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead. Kurniawan's gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as a scathing critique of his young nation's troubled past: the rapacious offhand greed of colonialism; the chaotic struggle for independence; the 1965 mass murders of perhaps a million "Communists," followed by three decades of Suharto's despotic rule.

Man Tiger: A NovelMan Tiger: A Novel by Eka Kurniawan; Labodalih Sembiring (Trans.)

A wry, affecting tale set in a small town on the Indonesian coast, Man Tiger tells the story of two interlinked and tormented families and of Margio, a young man ordinary in all particulars except that he conceals within himself a supernatural female white tiger. The inequities and betrayals of family life coalesce around and torment this magical being. An explosive act of violence follows, and its mysterious cause is unravelled as events progress toward a heartbreaking revelation.

Lao Da Sui Bi Ji (1990 - 2015)Lao Da Sui Bi Ji (1990 - 2015) by Han Laoda

This is a collection of thoughtful essays in Chinese, by Cultural Medallion winner Han Lao Da on a range of topics related to arts and culture in Singapore. While the work touches on various aspects of the arts, as one of the leading cross-talk artists in the region, Han also writes about his experiences in this regard, including his interactions with noted foreign and local practitioners. One sees that cross-talk is not only a performance art but also a literary art. This book is not only a record of developments but also provides a valuable insight into the mind of one of the leading artists in Singapore.

These Foolish Things & Other StoriesThese Foolish Things & Other Stories by Yeo Wei Wei

In Yeo Wei Wei's debut collection of stories, secret hopes, desires, and regrets are revealed through obsessions and events that collide and merge with everyday life. A wife returns home to find that her husband has remarried. An old woman in a nursing home is visited by a mynah that sings a Beatles song. An artist remembers the time he was harangued by rambutans, mangoes and other fruits in his studio. In crystalline prose suffused with a dark sense of humour, these stories offer glimpses of inner worlds that are sharp, strange, and haunting.