& Words: Poems Singapore and Beyond - $24
Anthologies are well-established institutions. They are especially useful in promoting interest in poetry. &Words: Poems Singapore and Beyond attempts to do so through a fresh approach. First, it provides a selection of Singapore poems in English, arranged in four broad sections: Identity, Homeland, Living, Words. Second, the selection includes poems in World Englishes which suggest their wide variety as well as how the shared experience of colonialism and the recovery from it, often generates a number of common responses. They offer opportunities to compare poems. Third, there are translations from Chinese, Malay, and Tamil, reminding readers that Singapore poetry is more than just that in English. Finally a section ‘Four Short Forms: Couplet, Haiku, Quatrain, Pantun’ to encourage teachers and students to try their hand at writing.
&Words features 170 poems by 73 Singapore poets and 35 overseas poets. It is hoped that this selection will add to the growing interest in Singapore literature, particularly its poetry.
A Philosopher's Madness - $18
This is a personal and philosophical account of schizophrenia that aims to raise awareness of mental health issues. The personal aspect of the book reveals the gritty reality of what it is like to have schizophrenia, and explores issues faced by those with mental illness, such as secrecy and recovery. The philosophical aspect of the book raises questions concerning the nature of mental illness, such as whether or not mental illness is ultimately physical or mental. Referencing contemporary debates, such as whether madness is a disease or a culturally- determined label, this book is relevant not only to persons with an interest in a true story of psychosis, but also to those with an interest in the relationship between philosophy and madness.
Cherry Days - $20
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.
Eastern Heathens: An Anthology of Subverted Asian Folklore - $25
We love Asian folklore. We grew up listening to Chinese legends, Arab fairy tales, Malay ghost stories and Indian sacred epics, and their fabulous images have continued to inhabit our imaginations ever since.
Yet as grown-ups, we’ve sometimes been bugged by the moralistic, simplistic manner in which these fables are often told. What better way to negotiate this than to reinvent our heritage? This collection brings together 14 subversions, reinventions and adaptations of folktales from all across Asia, written by an international crew of authors.
Within these pages, you’ll find a Cambodian horror story, a poetic meditation on Japanese fox spirits, a crime parable based on the Indian epic of the Ramayana, a sci-fi redaction of the Chinese legend of Lady White Snake, and many more exquisite gems.
This book is a treasure trove of the imagination, containing tales both intelligent and wondrous, combining the best elements of Asian heritage with the wit of the 21st century.
Ordinary Stories in an Extraordinary World - $20
This book tells the stories of a boy with autism living in a world he views in his own, special way. His take on the routines of daily life would seem, to most people, a plunge into an extraordinary world of the unexpected and inexplicable. As seen through his sister’s eyes, the stories chronicle his growing-up years, and his adventures and misadventures – the quirky, the funny and the downright miraculous. It is also a sharing of the little-known, yet engaging, stories of individuals with special needs and other unsung heroes: their families, teachers and doctors.
Get Lucky: An Anthology of Philippine and Singapore Writings - $20
Glimpse into the lives of Filipinos in Singapore, and see Singapore from their eyes. This Philippine-Singapore anthology presents a spread of concerns written in three genres by 30 contributors. The essays, stories and poems trace well-travelled routes of family, friendship, faith, and love; they enter intimate spaces opened up by the sleight of the writer’s hand, experiences that would have been closed to the naked eye and an unimaginative heart.
A natural complement to Love Gathers All, the first-ever anthology of Philippines-Singapore love poems, Get Lucky nourishes the bonds between members of these two countries by furthering the understanding of assumptions, beliefs as well as behaviours that are common or that divide.
Godsmacked - $37
Through the 90-odd paintings in this book, Teng Jee Hum hopes to share his feelings about what it has been like to be a Singaporean in the last 50 years or so. Many of the images are the artist’s take on the first Prime Minister of Singapore and his policies in governing Singapore.
Critiques of Teng’s work are included in this book. They are written by:
There is also a Q&A section where the artist explains more about his fascination with the key subject of his art.
They Told Us To Move: Dakota—Cassia - $25
What happens when an entire community is moved?
Dakota Crescent was one of Singapore's oldest public housing estates and a rental flat neighbourhood for low-income households. In 2016, its residents—many of whom are elderly—were relocated to Cassia Crescent to make way for redevelopment. To help them resettle, a group of volunteers came together and formed the Cassia Resettlement Team.
They Told Us to Move tells the story of the relocation through interviews with the residents from the Dakota community and reflections by the volunteers. Accompanying these are essays by various academics on urban planning; gender and family; ageing, poverty, and social services; civil society and citizenship; and architectural heritage and place-making. Through this three-part conversation, the book explores human stories of devotion, expectation, and remembrance. It asks what we can achieve through voluntary action and how we can balance self-reliance and public services.
This book is for people who want to understand the kind of society we are, and question what kind of society we want to be.
The Art of Advocacy In Singapore - $32
Advocacy is a tricky pursuit in Singapore. Your motives can be questioned, your activities monitored, and your scope for action limited. Despite the constraints, civil society activists have persisted, finding ways to pursue their cause and to try to bring about the changes they believe important for Singapore.
In 2013 a small group of civil society stalwarts set out to acknowledge the contributions of these unsung heroes. The Singapore Advocacy Awards was launched, a 3-year project that saw a total of 18 individuals and organisations being honoured.
In this book, 37 activists, many of them winners of the Awards, write about their causes and discuss the strategies shaped and lessons learnt as they practise the delicate art of advocacy in Singapore. Reflecting the nature of civil society, there is a diversity of voices. Some give a more personal account, while others describe the institutional experience of advocacy work. Some essays are short and sweet, others long and detailed. They appear ordered alphabetically by the cause.
Gone Case - $19
A touching yet unsentimental story about growing up in Singapore seen through the eyes of Yong, a 12-year-old, who experiences the paradoxes of life even if he doesn’t always understand everything. Between the rigorous demands of school and taking care of his younger sibling, Yong deals with the death of Ah Por, upheavals in his family, run-ins with the neighbourhood gang leader, infatuation and finally, the end of a friendship.
Set in a Housing Development Board (HDB) estate, Gone Case is a coming-of-age story with many memorable moments. It won the Singapore Literature Prize Commendation Award in 1996 and was on the National Library Board's Read! Singapore 2011 list. It was adapted into a telemovie, produced and written by Lee Thean Jeen, directed by Ler Jiyuan in 2013.
Dave Chua is also the author of The Beating and Other Stories (2011). It was longlisted for the Frank O'connor International Short Prize 2012 and shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize 2012.
Goodbye My Kampong! Potong Pasir, 1966 to 1975 - $21
Sequel to Josephine Chia’s 2014 Singapore Literature prize-winning book, Kampong Spirit - Gotong Royong: Life in Potong Pasir, 1955 to 1965.
Kampong life in Singapore did not end in 1965 with her independence.
In Josephine Chia’s new collection of non-fiction stories, the phasing out of attap-thatched villages, the largest mass movement in Singapore, is set against the backdrop of significant national events.
Weaving personal tribulations—her teenage angst—and the experiences of villagers from her kampong, Josephine skilfully parallels the hopes and challenges of a toddling nation going through the throes of industrialisation and rapid changes from 1966 to 1975.
These delightful, real-life stories, sprinkled with snippets of her Peranakan culture, reveal the joie-de-vivre of gotong royong or community spirit, despite impoverished conditions, in the last days of kampong life.
Let Me Tell You Something About That Night - $20
Be warned, mothers should not read these stories to their children, even though they might contain a lonely elf, a talking moon, a butterfly that wants to be a rabbit, or a boy who was born with a flower as an unfortunate appendage. Hovering within the realm of fables, myths and fairy tales, here are unlikely bedtime stories that are best read on a dark, stormy night, and at the risk of wounding the soul.
My Mother-In-Law's Son - $21
My Mother-In-Law’s Son centres round a Peranakan woman, Swee Gek, who is in an abusive marriage but is constrained by the limitations of women in her time to take positive action.
Her marriage is further strained by Choy Yan, the eponymous Mother-In-Law of the title, whose values are archaic and patriarchal. Taking place in a 1949-1950 Singapore that is just recovering from the onslaught of the Japanese War, Swee Gek’s Chinese husband, Wong Kum Chong, is inadvertently drawn into anti-colonial activities by a communist agitator, Teng Xin Nan.
Narrated from the perspectives of these different characters, My Mother-In-Law’s Son is a revealing story of a Singapore and her people struggling to find their feet in the aftermath of a war. It also shows how people going through difficult circumstances can be susceptible to revolutionary ideas. Through Swee Gek’s personal fight against her oppressors, this novel also explores the meaning of love: whether love can be unconditional or is it always accompanied by possessiveness.
Common Life: Drawings and Poems - $30
“Most things in the world around us have poems hidden in them waiting to be revealed if we have the will to pay attention and see them with the heart.” — Anne Lee Tzu Pheng
With crayons and stained paper, artist Ho Chee Lick wanders around neighbourhoods in Singapore observing, perceiving, looking for that “something”: quiet and unremarkable objects and scenes of basic everyday life. One day some of his drawings came into the hands of poet Anne Lee Tzu Pheng who rediscovers the quiet beauty of these captured moments and explores their story with her words.
Common Life is a visual and poetic journey into territories the mind often finds too familiar to excite feelings or thoughts. Every purchase comes with a complimentary copy of Enjoying Common Life: A Companion.
Priest In Geylang: The Untold Story of the Geylang Catholic Centre - $21
Cosmopolitan Singapore—emblematic of globalised capitalism—usually calls to mind a number of clichés: orderly, clean and green, a shopping and business paradise, and a model of sound economic management. Tourists, journalists and passing businessmen cast an absent-minded glance at the local society, noting that the food is excellent, e-communication works well and armoured tanks are absent on street corners.
But after 17 years living here, the author shows a different side of Singapore: looking at her from the grassroots. Beyond his personal atypical story, he draws with light strokes of the brush, a picture of a warm and generous people, much less passive than one is often given to think. He also describes the difficulties faced by civil society, and tracks the rapid social evolution in the city-state as it is confronted with major challenges: a nose-diving demography, cramped territory with an infrastructure which cannot be extended indefinitely, and massive immigration which is increasingly resented by the local population. Most of all, Fr. Arotcarena places on record the work and significance of the Geylang Catholic Centre, which makes this priest in Geylang himself a legend.
Riot Recollections - $24
The riot that struck Little India on 8 December 2013 was the worst outbreak of violence Singapore had experienced in four decades. Within minutes, updates—and judgments—poured in thick and fast from netizens around the island and beyond. Both mainstream and alternative media issued their own explanations of the events that unfolded that night. Issues of class, the treatment of migrant workers and the efficiency of the riot force, amongst others, were brought to light for scrutiny in the conversations that followed. When rioters were often simply referred to as a mob—whether unruly and inebriated or as victims of xenophobia and slack legislation—it is easy to forget that individuals were involved.
Riot Recollections brings us back to the ground and to the individuals who were in the thick of events at Race Course Road. As the noise from disgruntled and shocked Singaporeans die down, the witnesses now speak, offering a glimpse into a place that still carries the trauma of the riot long after all debris has been cleared.
Spaces of the Dead: A Case from the Living - $43
Seen primarily as final resting places, cemeteries are increasingly under threat from urban redevelopment in land-scarce Singapore. Regarded as ‘excess space’ by state planners, and as ‘taboo places’ by the local populace, the rich historical and cultural heritage of our cemeteries have remained largely unappreciated and hidden.
Today, there are about less than a dozen cemeteries left in Singapore. With the recent exhumation of major cemeteries like Bidadari Cemetery and Kong How Shua Cemetery, concerns have been raised about the status of cemeteries in Singapore.
Spaces of the Dead: A Case from the Living brings together various authors concerned with the need for conservation of cemeteries in Singapore. This book showcases cemeteries as spaces of historical, architectural and social merit through the writings and photo-journals of the authors. We hope it will serve as an initial step in generating greater interest in and awareness of Singapore’s cemeteries.
Note the dimension of the book, it may not fit in the letterbox
Dimension: 239mm x 228mm
this is how you walk on the moon: an anthology of anti-realist fiction - $22
Looking for strategies to cope with existing under an omniscient narrator? Keen to optimise your interactions with ancient deities? Perhaps you’re a star in a corner of the Milky Way with a penchant for human-gazing, or even a young girl confronting the disturbingly solid spectre of her ethnic identity…
this is how you walk on the moon is a practical field guide to the vagaries of our contemporary universe; a handbook for navigating the sublime, the subjective, and the inexplicable. Collected in this anthology are 25 previously unpublished short stories from award-winners and newcomers alike—fictions that declare the infinite permutations of reality, while exploring the rarity of human connection across all possible worlds. Come leap off the edge of all known existence with us, and let editors Patricia Karunungan, Samuel Caleb Wee, and Wong Wen Pu ease your landing into this bouquet of prose.