While food satisfies appetites, books pacify the mind's curiosity. Besides offering brain nourishments to avid readers through Singapore Writers' Festival by gathering renowned international and regional authors every November, the localised #BuySingLit also provides a platform to celebrate Singapore literature.
But before immersing in this year's #BuySingLit programmes at the anchor Sing Lit Power House event, we recommend you to pick up a book or two published by these local female authors who've made an impact in the Singapore literature scene.Click here to jump straight to Sing Lit Power House's programme line-up.
Amanda Lee Koe
Esquire Singapore's former Fiction Editor is going places. The youngest Singapore Literature Prize winner to-date has impressed critics with the acclaimed Ministry of Moral Panic. Not resting on her laurels, she ventured west to pursue a Masters in fiction writing at Columbia University. There, she wrote Delayed Rays of a Star, her first long-form novel.
Published and distributed internationally, the much-lauded fiction looks into the parallel lives of three screen female legends. Despite based on a picture which they took by chance at a party, Koe explores their vastly different individual fates.
Of course, Catherine Lim has to be on this list. The NUS PhD holder in applied linguistics has written countless extraordinary local literature such as The Serpent Tooth, The Bondmaid, and Miss Seetoh in the World. One of Lim's pieces, A Leap of Love (involving leap years), was also translated onto the big screen.
The venerable author latest's book, The Loving and the Dead: Tales of the Supernatural, featured 18 tales involving the other world. Launched at The Arts House last year, Lim documents the fear and mystery of supernatural encounters. Even though she still experiences goosebumps as an adult, it's from scientific uncertainty instead of terror.
Indonesian-born Singaporean Goenawan has fulfilled her dream to be a writer. Transitioned from a design and marketing background, the budding novelist won a handful of awards for Rainbirds even before its publication. Guess taking the risky leap into the literature world paid off.
Rainbirds is a coming-of-age read with a dark twist. A young man’s path to self-discovery as he struggles with his sister’s unsolved murder. It’s a literary mystery with elements of magical realism. Inspired by a burning question: "what if someone I cared about unexpectedly passed away, and I realized too late I never got to know them well? This idea left a deep impression, and I knew I had to tell this story."
Don't underestimate short stories. Starting out with terse narratives and eventually moving on to pen successful original feminist-focused theatre plays, Yu's literature diversity has led her to pursuit Young Adult Fiction. From the Aunty Lee investigation series to her recent tree-related 1930s detective series, the veteran author's books appeared on best-sellers' list of major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Books Kinokuniya.
Yu's tales may appear rosy at first glance, but they are embedded with weighty issues such as colonialism and imperialism.
A teacher, writer and a poet. How does Nansi juggle all three roles? But it doesn't end there. Last year, the Nanyang Technological University creative writing lecturer assumed the Festival Director designation at Singapore Writers Festival too.
Inspired by Sylvia Plath and other prominent female poets, Nansi uses poetry as a platform to provide a much-needed voice by representing a minority group. Thus, must-reads are Stiletto and Scars (her 2007 debut collection of poems) and Love is an Empty Barstool.
Longer read fanatics, check out The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume Four. The local publisher approached Nansi to select and guest edit the book to showcase Singapore's best wordsmiths.
SingLit Power House
The show must go on for #BuySingLit 2020: Read Our World. And the spotlight is focused on all things SingLit-inspired at the decommissioned Pasir Panjang Power Station. Short-circuited? Spark off your literary interest and brighten up your day with these energy-charged performances. Afraid you might overheat? The venue will be fully airconditioned indoors.
Modern: Resonance II
First initiated by Goethe-Institut Singapore, join Singaporean artists Li-Chuan Chong, Deborah Emmanual and Alecia Neo as they reawaken Pasir Panjang Power Station with music and artistic appropriation with an electrifying performance.
An Exercise in Noticing
Presented in and around the spacious industrial site, An Exercise in Nothing leads the audience on a self-paced contemplative passage through a journey of Singapore literature.
Glorious, Monstrous Hantu Tales from Singapore
Ready for a scare? We are. Produced by Cake, this live performance mashes film and writing in a magnetising arc drawn from the voices of Singaporean writers.
#BuySingLit Book Bazaar
Load up some cash and get ready for a spree. Organised by BooksActually over two weekends at two locations (Pasir Panjang Power Station and The Arts House), the bazaar will gather established and independent publishers under one roof to offer a wide selection of local and regional literature.
Sing Lit Sounds: A Silent Disco
This one's for those who dig both words and musical notes. Touted as the world's first literary dance party, exhibit your best moves to the offered beats and books. Sway to rhythms of legendary artists like Mantravine and Fauxe while interspersed with melodic murmurs from SingLit classics.
Sing Lit Power House happens from 6 to 7 March at Pasir Panjang Power Station. Admission is free but certain programmes are ticketed. For more information and full programme timings, head over to #BuySingLit webpage.