Literature

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Lontar #2: The Journal Of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction by Lundberg, Jason Erik (Ed.)

This issue of LONTAR presents speculative writing from and about Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Singpowrimo: The Anthology by Ann Ang, Joshua Ip & Pooja Nansi (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 thrown open to the wilderness of the interwebz. This anthology brings together the best of the hundreds of poems that were submitted, from verses written in response to fiendish "include-all-these-six-words-in-your-poem" challenges, to impromptu poems written on whim. In the spirit of the democratic process of poetry, we feature first-time poets beside established ones, and blackout poems besides long-forgotten forms such as the liwuli.

Perilous Passage Of Princess Petunia Peasant, ThePerilous Passage Of Princess Petunia Peasant, The by Victor Edward Apps

Teen activist Pet Peasant has no time for administrative red tape. All she wants is an audience with the high regent. Without changes in the law, her village will suffer. With her best friends, Pet sets off on a journey to the centre of power. But events spiral out of control quickly. Pet's quest takes her across the realm, through a murky swamp tyrannized by an outlandish master and eerie woods twisted by dark magic. As the stakes rise, her friends fall, and the drums of war sound louder, an incredible and inescapable truth dawns on Pet.

University DaysUniversity Days by Solomon, Laura

This is one of a series of young adult novellas, set in London. Twins, Olivia and Melanie, are now aged eighteen. Studious Olivia and her boyfriend Bevin are studying at Imperial College; rebellious Melanie at the Royal Academy of Music. Each responds differently to a new environment, new friends and new studies. Their home lives also are full of changes.

Dharma Expedient, TheDharma Expedient, The by Sarony, Neville

Max Devlin is an ex-Gurkha officer down on his luck. When his livelihood and business are expropriated by a corrupt government, he finds himself accepting an unlikely proposal: to lead a mysterious group of foreign academics into the remotest valleys of Nepal. But it soon becomes apparent these are no ordinary academics - high in the majestic mountains, tensions escalate when Devlin realizes his clients are in fact conducting a clandestine operation. At the heart of the expedition lies a shocking secret that will rock the spiritual and geopolitical foundations of the Himalayas.

Space Between The Raindrops, TheSpace Between The Raindrops, The by Ker, Justin

Contemplative and filled with possibility, each evanescent story inhabits the fleeting, unrepeatable place between the falling droplets on our island of rain. The Space Between the Raindrops is a remarkable collection of short stories told by a startling new voice.

Trivialities About Me And MyselfTrivialities About Me And Myself by Yeng Pway Ngon; Howard Goldblatt (Trans.)

The Chinese protagonist of Trivialities about Me and Myself, a journalist turned entrepreneur, possesses a split personality. "Me" is a figure consumed by greed and sexual desire, two impulses that undermine his careers, his two marriages, and his relationship with his son. Throughout the novel he engages in a dialogue with his other identity, the moralistic "Myself", whose principled stances try but usually fail to win over his other half.

Ten Things My Father Never Taught Me And Other StoriesTen Things My Father Never Taught Me And Other Stories by Wong, Cyril

A woman learns of a friend's illness and wonders if she ever truly knew him. A boy who sees ghosts heeds the advice of a fortune-teller, with surprising consequences. A girl wakes up and realises everybody in her Bedok neighbourhood has vanished.

Eva, Kopi And MatchaEva, Kopi And Matcha by Neo, Evangeline

Who would have thought that Eva’s crossover from one red dot to another could be peppered with so many good laughs? Eva, Kopi and Matcha is a light-hearted and witty narration of cultural differences in Singapore and Japan, matter-of-factly spewed out by Eva, a typical Singaporean with an “auntie” mindset. In this humorous trajectory of everyday musings, Eva takes a funny, and often self-deprecating look at random and awkward mismatches between the two red dots, revealing much exasperation and delight along the way. Together with Kopi and Matcha, her imaginary pets, Eva tries to suss out a life in Japan and find a place in her home away from home.

Kepulauan: A Collection Of Poems by Zhang Jieqiang; Hidhir Razak & Marcus Tan Yi-Hern

Kepulauan: A Collection of Poems is a refreshing anthology capturing the spirit of diversity in an archipelago of poetic expression. Birthed from the poetry workshops in Nanyang Technological University's Creative Writing Programme under the mentorship of established writers, such as Boey Kim Cheng and Jennifer Crawford, Kepulauan showcases the best works of promising young poets who have come up with fresh ways of reading Singapore and the wider world. The majority of these poems are selected from the work of the undergraduate students in Dr Boey Kim Cheng's Creative Writing: Poetry (2013) class, with the rest of the poems contributed by undergraduate students in Dr Jennifer Crawford's Advanced Creative Writing (2013) class, as well as by other undergraduate and postgraduate students and a faculty member in the Division of English.

Coastlands by Lee Soon Yong, Aaron

Tell me again where home is, where inhabit all the holy hours, where someday you will find me. -- from "Time Lapse" Coastlands is Aaron Lee's third collection of poetry. Whether in a small town or frenetic city, the poet has never lived far from the sea. This book documents his life experience as a pilgrim still finding his place in the wider world. In these fifty poems he recollects, explores, embraces and anticipates what is lost and found in each of the places he calls home: Malaysia, Singapore and Hawaii. Everywhere, natural and urban landscapes anchor and influence his identity and connect him to humanity. In ancient writings "coastlands" means the far reaches of the earth--places accessible only by crossing oceans of unknown magnitude. Truly, life is a voyage from which the traveller never returns.

Saga Seeds by De Souza, Patricia Maria

Saga Seeds is Patricia Maria Tan's latest poetry collection. The title of her book refers most aptly to her poems, taut red beads of memory and observation. Nostalgic references such as masak masak transport readers to a time when children played five stones and games involving pure imagination. The personal recollections serve as a tribute to Singapore and our collective memories. We also find poems alive with the beauty of simple folk and nature, and poems awake to darker moods and events. Throughout the lyrical excursion, readers are borne by the poet's steady and reassuring voice, into the intricacies of introspection, and towards a fuller appreciation of the exquisiteness of everyday moments.

Sound Of Mind: A Teacher-Writers Anthology Of Poems And Prompts by Mcconnell, Philip; Genevieve Wong

This is an exciting offering of poems from a constellation of teacher-writers, including published and familiar authors such as Ann Ang, Ken Mizusawa, Eric Tinsay Valles, Christine Chia, Heng Siok Tian, David Leo and Oliver Seet. What makes this anthology worth the reader's precious time is more than the poets' acuity of perception, and their particularities of style; being educators, they have contributed with a view to inspiring the reader's imagination. The poems have been arranged in a manner to stimulate the creative writer in each and every reader. The English Language Institute of Singapore is proud to present this debut collection by teacher-writers in Singapore.

Red Pulse Ii: Poetry To A Local Beat by Lam, Kevin; Tan Xiang Yeow (Eds.)

Red Pulse II is a rich chronicle illuminating the growth of twenty-two young Singapore poets, who, as a community, write to shape and order private and collective, national worlds, to reconcile tensions within fragile and fraught relationships, and to split open unspoken pasts toward a future forward in poems that crystallise philosophy, pain and play.

Changes & Chances by Ng, Leonard

Uncompromising yet accessible, the six sequences in Changes and Chances explore love, sorrow, time, nature, and humanity. By turns passionate, hermetic, and heartbreaking, they simultaneously endure and celebrate all the imperfections of the world. Leonard Ng blends free verse with adaptations of both Western and Asian forms to create a musical poetry grounded in the traditions of both East and West.

After The Fall: Dirges Among Ruins by Valles, Eric Tinsay

This collection explores the creative space of poetry as a means to unravel feelings evoked by the violence of war or by everyday traumatic events. One may come to terms with uncomfortable, including unspeakable, feelings by describing them with imagery from nature and one's immediate environment. By participating in grieving, the self can better face any lingering effects of trauma. In this creative space, dramatic speakers retell stories and give vent to contradictory feelings through silences and free play. Their accounts attest to the dappled beauty of the human condition even if the full nature, scope and effects of traumatic memories are always beyond their grasp.

Rama The Steadfast: An Early Form Of The RamayanaRama The Steadfast: An Early Form Of The Ramayana by Brockington, John & Mary (Translation)

Warrior-prince Rama is about to be crowned Young King, when he hears the devastating news that his father, King of Ayodhya, has been tricked into banishing him to the forest. His devoted wife Sita insists on accompanying him in exile, but the evil ten-headed lord Ravana has fallen deeply in love with the beautiful princess and steals her away. Aided by Hanuman, mighty captain of the monkeys, Rama sets out across the world to find her and destroy Ravana in a deadly battle. Rama the Steadfast was composed in the oral tradition in about the fifth century BC and has been retold over the generations ever since. With its fantastical characters ranging from monsters to apes, a very human hero and its profound moral purpose, it is one of the greatest of all Indian tales.

Goddess In The Living Room, TheGoddess In The Living Room, The by Latha; Palaniappan Arumugum Et Al (Trans.)

The voices of Tamil women in Singapore are given a powerful outlet by Latha in this collection of stories. Among them: a grandmother forced to move because of an en bloc sale; a daughter caring for her terminally ill mother; and the enigmatic Alyssa, who is left with her grandparents on Pulau Ubin as a child, and must deal with devastating loss as an adult. The Goddess in the Living Room chronicles these women's domestic struggles and exposes the unyielding patriarchy in the Indian community.

How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia: A Novel by Mohsin, Hamid

His first two novels established Mohsin Hamid as a radically inventive storyteller with his finger on the world's pulse. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia meets that reputation-and exceeds it. The astonishing and riveting tale of a man's journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over "rising Asia." It follows its nameless hero to the sprawling metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most fluid, and increasingly scarce, of goods: water. Yet his heart remains set on something else, on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths crossing and recrossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a striking slice of contemporary life at a time of crushing upheaval. Romantic without being sentimental, political without being didactic, and spiritual without being religious, it brings an unflinching gaze to the violence and hope it depicts. And it creates two unforgettable characters who find moments of transcendent intimacy in the midst of shattering change.

Tale Of The Heike, The by Tyler, Royall (Trans.)

The Tale of the Heike is Japan's great martial epic; a masterpiece of world literature and the progenitor of all samurai stories, now in a major and groundbreaking new translation by Royall Tyler, acclaimed translator of The Tale of Genji. First assembled from scattered oral poems in the early fourteenth century, The Tale of the Heike is Japan's Iliad - a grand-scale depiction of the wars between the Heike and Genji clans. Legendary for its magnificent and vivid set battle scenes, it is also a work filled with intimate human dramas and emotions, contemplating Buddhist themes of suffering and separation, as well as universal insights into love, loss and loyalty. The narrative moves back and forth between the two great warring clans, between aristocratic society and street life, adults and children, great crowds and introspection. No Japanese work has had a greater impact on subsequent literature, theatre, music and films, or on Japan's sense of its own past. Royall Tyler's new translation is the first to capture the way The Tale of the Heike was originally performed. It re-creates the work in its full operatic form, with speech, poetry, blank verse and song that convey its character as an oral epic in a way not seen before, fully embracing the rich and vigorous language of the original texts. Beautifully illustrated with fifty-five woodcuts from the nineteenth-century artistic master, Katsushika Hokusai, and bolstered with maps, character guides, genealogies and rich annotation, this is a landmark edition.