A Crowd of Twisted Things – Dawn Farnham
In December 1950, the worst riots Singapore had ever seen shot down the town for days, killing 18 people and wounding 173. Racial and religious tension had been simmering for months over the custody battle for wartime waif Maria Hertogh between her Malay-Muslim foster mother and her Dutch-Catholic biological parents.
In May 1950, Eurasian Annie Collins, following this case and filled with hope, returns to Singapore seeking her own lost baby. As the time bomb ticks and Annie unravels the threads of her quest into increasingly dangerous territory, she finds strange recollections intruding, ones that have nothing to do with her wartime experiences: disturbing visions and dreams which force her to doubt not just her past life, but her whole idea of who she truly is and even to question the search itself.
Twisted memories, twisted minds, twisted lives, twisted beliefs, the twists of fate and their tangled consequences.
A Crowd of Twisted Things is at once a lament for the loss and damage of war, and unravelling mystery and a journey into suppressed memory and the nature of self-delusion.
Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry.
What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.
Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry.
Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
Singapore Love Stories – Verena Tay (Editor)
What does it mean to love and be loved in Singapore?
Singapore Love Stories is a vibrant collection of seventeen stories that delve into the diverse love lives of Singapore’s eclectic mix of inhabitants. From the HDB heartlander to the Sentosa millionaire, the privileged expatriate to the migrant worker, the accidental tourist to the reluctant citizen, the characters in this anthology reveal an array of perspectives of love found in the island city-state.
Leading Singaporean and Singapore-based writers explore the best and worst of the human condition called love, including grief, duplicity and revenge, self-love, filial love, homesickness and tragic past relationships. Collectively, the stories in this anthology reveal the many ways in which love can be both a salve and a wound in life.
The Last Lesson of Mrs de Souza – Cyril Wong
One last time and on her birthday, Rose de Souza is returning to school to give a final lesson to her classroom of secondary school boys before retiring from her long teaching career.
What ensues is an unexpected confession in which she recounts the tragic and traumatic story of Amir, a student from her past who overturned the way she saw herself as a teacher, and changed her life forever.
Kappa Quartet – Daryl Qilin Yam
Kevin is a young man without a soul, holidaying in Tokyo; Mr Five, the enigmatic kappa, is the man he so happens to meet. Little does Kevin know that kappas—the river demons of Japanese folklore—desire nothing more than the souls of other humans. Set between Singapore and Japan, Kappa Quartet is split into eight discrete sections, tracing the rippling effects of this chance encounter across a host of other characters, connected and bound to one another in ways both strange and serendipitous. Together they ask one another: what does it mean to be in possession of something nobody has seen before?
Art Studio – Yeng Pway Ngon, translated by Goh Beng Choo and Guan Liang Loh
Singapore, 1980s: Amid the tumult of political promise and upheaval, Yan Pei and his students struggle to pursue art in a rented studio. Yan Pei, a penniless artist, sacrifices more than his marriage to perfect his craft. His student Si Xian makes an irrevocable decision after Ning Fang, the subject of his unrequited love, leaves him for India. Jian Xiong gives up art – and his humanity – when communist politics force him to flee into the Malayan jungle.
The Trader’s Wife – Anna Jacobs
Singapore in the 1860s is exotic and yet terrifying for a penniless Englishwoman, alone and vulnerable after her mother’s death. Too pretty to obtain a governess’s job, Isabella Saunders accepts an offer from a Singapore merchant to teach him English and live with his family.
Two years later Bram Deagan arrives in Singapore, determined to make his fortune as a trader. Mr Lee sees a way to expand his business connections and persuades Isabella to marry Bram.
Bravely, she sets sail for a new land and life. But the past casts a long shadow and together they face unexpected dangers. Will they find a way to achieve their dreams of a successful trading business?