Literature

Featured Titles
Jaffna BoyJaffna Boy by Sinniah, Bernard

Jaffna Boy is the engaging true story of a young boy\'s life at a sri lankan boarding school in the 1970s,as recalled during one fateful train ride and the advice from an unexpected source that would change the course of his life forever.

Short & SweetShort & Sweet by Hattotuwa, Sanjana

Curated by Sanjana Hattotuwa, there are 160 stories in this book, each no more than 25 words. Many will recognize the stories as their own. Some may know family, friends and colleagues whose stories mirror those within. 'Short & Sweet' is above all an invitation, through the words of others, to imagine and remember the marginal and oft forgotten. Unlike with most books, this doubles up as a notebook. Own it, write on it and pass it on.

Frangipani Year, The: Love And Aid Work In Post-Tsunami AcehFrangipani Year, The: Love And Aid Work In Post-Tsunami Aceh by Harris, Alexandra

One year after the Indian Ocean tsunami, Angela finds herself flying into the devastated region of Banda Aceh as a researcher for the UN. Enthusiastic and committed, the young American woman arrives at a place swarming with aid workers, and she soon enters a world that is nothing like what she has known.

Softly As I Leave YouSoftly As I Leave You by Lokuge, Chandani

Turning back, she saw his blurred figure through the lace curtain, an abstract pattern of their intense criss-crossed liaison. He was looking at her. What was he seeing? How isolated we are, she thought, how unconnected...One late spring morning, Uma awakens to a life in which her relationships - to lover, to husband, to son - seem unbearably tangled. In capturing its searing and intimate moments, the story transcends into a meditation on love and betrayal, grief and redemption.

Japanese Tales From Times Past: Stories Of Fantasy And Folklore From The Classic Konjaku Monogatari ShuJapanese Tales From Times Past: Stories Of Fantasy And Folklore From The Classic Konjaku Monogatari Shu by Koriyama, Naoshi; Brucel Allen

This collection of translated tales is from the most famous work in all of Japanese classical literature - the Konjaku Monogatari Shu. This collection of traditional Japanese folklore is akin to the Canterbury Tales of Chaucer or Dante's Inferno - powerfully entertaining tales that reveal striking aspects of the cultural psychology, fantasy, and creativity of medieval Japan - tales that still resonate with modern Japanese readers today. This is the largest collection in English of the Konjaku Monogatari Shu tales ever published in one volume. It presents the low life and the high life, the humble and the devout, the profane flirting, farting and fornicating of everyday men and women, as well as their yearning for the wisdom, transcendence and compassion that are all part and parcel of our shared humanity.

Tales From Victoria ParkTales From Victoria Park by

Victoria Park, the largest expanse of open space in Hong Kong, is the crossroads and away home for thousands of Muslim women who have come from Indonesia to find their fortunes, or at least support their families, in the teeming Chinese city. Most come initially as maids, but some lose their employers and descend into the netherworld of overstayers, illegal street hawkers and disco "PR" girls. This is a book of their stories. From the comic to the bizarre to the heart-breaking, these cross-cultural tales of exiles in another country build on a sensual evocation of place and character.

South China Morning BluesSouth China Morning Blues by

There's no place quite like it. From Guangzhou to Hong Kong, the booming megalopolis of the Pearl River Delta has endless stories to tell. South China Morning Blues is filled with these tales of the postmodern East: depraved, rapidly changing, and never boring. Just what kinds of people find themselves in 21st-century China? There's Marco, a crooked businessman with a penchant for call girls; Danny, a culture-shocked young traveler; Sheila, a local club girl caught up in family politics; Amber, a drug-fueled aspiring model; Terry, an alcoholic journalist; and Ting Ting, a lovable artist with a chip on her shoulder. Their lives intertwine in unexpected ways as they delve deeper into their surroundings and in the process learn more about themselves.

Babel Via Negativa: Hybrid ScriptingBabel Via Negativa: Hybrid Scripting by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde

Babel Via Negativa is a collection of hybrid scripting, described by Lily Hoang as a "menagerie" with "tweets suspended in hypotaxis, an intertextual roundtable about the chicken that couldn't cross the road, and essays that smash poetics with Kon's distinctive transnational sass". Dive into the invented form of the asingbol, assorted poetic ruminations, lost acts of translation, or the five critical essays that speak of the ultimate limits of language - what it means to say and unsay. The book has also been described by Richard Collins as "a feast of juxtapositions" and "an impossibility of conversations".

Chasing RainbowsChasing Rainbows by Choo Lian Liang; Sim Ann (Trans.)

Chasing Rainbows spans more than a century, tracing the adventures - and misadventures - of four generations of a Chinese family that had sunk roots in Singapore and Malaya. Told with heartfelt earnest, the true, compelling accounts of this extraordinary family and their flaming desires is an inspiring story about chasing rainbows that are close to their hearts.

Chimes Of The Soul: Verses From The Deep WithinChimes Of The Soul: Verses From The Deep Within by Shilpa Dikshit Thapliyal

In 2008, Shilpa was struck by Bell's Palsy, leaving her face paralyzed and limp over several agonizing months. This made her delve deeper into herself, beyond her physical appearance. She soon lost her father and missed her almost daily telephonic conversations with him. This had a great impact on her and one evening Shilpa found a sudden urge to write, and she has not stopped since then. Chimes of the Soul is written in simple easy-to-read language, portraying the writer's reflections and observations. The poems touch topics like life, resilience and inspiration. Each poem is beautifully illustrated by simple line artwork.

Tiger AutumnTiger Autumn by Pearson, Jan

In Tiger Autumn, the reader meets again several of the characters from "Red Bird Summer", witnesses further terrible events in Kowloon Walled City, and sees the Hei Ling Chau Island leper colony become both a haven from pursuit and a place to repent past crime. In October 1964, as Pearl Green approaches her twentieth birthday in a Hong Kong where the sixties are rocking, China is about to enter the global arms race by detonating the country's first nuclear device. The air is thick with intrigue and the anticipation of trouble, which breaks out when leading nuclear scientist, Dr Lin Dei ordered to destroy his research results and return to Beijing murders his supervisor and flees, taking his valuable research papers with him.

AlphabetAlphabet by Guthrie, Andrew

Alphabet consists of twenty-six poems concerning the vagaries of failure, the underrated opposite of success. But in this case, the context of failure necessarily includes the genre of contemporary poetry, that most disabused yet over-abundant mode of expression. Why would anyone choose to express themselves in a manner that automatically narrows the readership, even after dispensing with avant-garde ambitions? Precisely because its condition might lend itself to the aimless, useless or extra-economic moments when success can be turned on its head.

Cop Show HeavenCop Show Heaven by Gray, Lawrence

A character in a popular cop show, Dan Symmonds, is written out of the series and finds himself lingering in Cop Show Heaven. Here he must try to discover some depth to his personality in order to inspire a writer to re-invent him. But of course, that's just propaganda because nobody really wants depth, they just want what sells, or if not that, they just want that which sells what they want to sell! Here we are in a world aware of its own fictional nature, questioning the reasons for its own existence. In this parody of parodies, any resemblance that Cop Show Heaven bears to Hong Kong and its film-making community is purely coincidental and whoever the readership assumes any of the characters to resemble is much mistaken. All is fiction. All is fantasy.

Bright Lights And White NightsBright Lights And White Nights by Carter, Andrew

At first, moving east appears an inspired decision for Troy. But things take a disastrous turn. He inadvertently becomes embroiled in a debauched adventure, involving the players and oddballs of Hong Kong's cocaine underworld ... and a police informant against his will.

Poems To Enjoy, Book 5 (Secondary 5-6)Poems To Enjoy, Book 5 (Secondary 5-6) by Bickley, Verner

Dr Bickley's five graded poetry anthologies "Poems to Enjoy" is a well-established tool for learning and teaching English at all levels. The five books are each accompanied by an audio recording of all the poems in the book. Book 5 is for secondary 5-6 students. Students, parents, teachers and other adults will enjoy and find useful Dr Bickley's selection of poems and the lively readings presented in the recording.

Corridor: 12 Short Stories by Alfian Sa'at

Corridor is a collection of short stories all set in present-day Singapore. With unsentimental clarity and heartbreaking honesty, Alfian Sa'at writes about HDB dwellers - students, housewives and factory workers, whose lives begin to unravel once they discover that happiness is a fragile thing in a country obsessed with progress and success. The characters in each story find themselves in situations that offer them a ticket to hope and change: A video camera transforms the way a resentful daughter sees her widowed mother. A married couple receives free holiday tickets just when their luck seems to have run out. A girl encounters a transvestite on an MRT train ride who tells her that she looks like a famous singer. And a man enters a discotheque after a bitter divorce and re-learns the terror of falling in love all over again. Rich in authentic detail, with a sensitive ear for the vernacular, Corridor paints an elegiac, revealing portrait of contemporary Singaporeans who exist along the city's corridors - haunted by lost loves, irrevocable childhoods and a deep longing to be free. Corridor won the Singapore Literature Prize Commendation Award in 1998.

Arbitrary Sign, The: The Most Misunderstood Alphabet Book In The WorldArbitrary Sign, The: The Most Misunderstood Alphabet Book In The World by Kon, Desmond Zhicheng-Mingde

This poetry collection, in adding to the wealth of Singapore literature, helps to diversify it. Its effort to bridge ideas in continental philosophy and poetry demystifies the long perceived divide between the two fields of knowledge and study. In providing diagrammatic poems, it also works on an internal ekphrasis, between poem and typographic image, thereby helping readers appreciate the interstices between various artforms. With the increased convergence of media, this is one more example of how poetry can have a dialogue within the interdisciplinary arts.

Postal CodePostal Code by Nair, Marc

The Postal Code by Marc Nair is about place and identity, and quite a number of poems revolve around people and issues in Singapore. The themes that are brought out through the poems are aimed at being both relevant as well as offer questions for the public to consider.

Boy Who Caused 9/11 And Other PlaysBoy Who Caused 9/11 And Other Plays by Mizusawa, Ken

"Ken Mizusawa's work is startling, imaginative, challenging and utterly absorbing. It ranges from small to massive cast, deadly serious to deeply funny and addresses difficult issues with courage and compassion. These plays evoke a powerful response in audiences of any age, but especially for the young adults for whom they provide unusually rich and complex roles, and for whom they would be especially thought-provoking. So much work for 'the young' is condescending, careful and worthy, so it is exhilarating and refreshing to find a writer like Mizusawa." - Jean Betts, NZ Playwright, Actor and Director

Animal CityAnimal City by Nair, Marc

Step into a magical world of poems written by Marc Nair with extraordinary illustrations by Vanessa Chan. Animal City is a celebration of little stories from animals commonly found in Singapore, from ubiquitious pigeons and frogs to 'sotongs' (squid) and even the Merlion.