Singapore Shelf

FICTION

KAPPA QUARTET

By Daryl Qilin Yam

Epigram Books/ Paperback/ 240 pages/ $24.90/Major bookstores and epigrambooks.sg

While holidaying in Tokyo, a young man without a soul runs into the mysterious Mr Five - a kappa, or water spirit. Atmospheric, surreal and masterfully told through an off-kilter cast of characters lost and lonely, this exciting new read comes from the longlist of the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize.


MEMOIR

NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT YOUR CHILLI SAUCE

By Constance Singam

Epigram Books/ Paperback/ 184 pages/ $35.90/Major bookstores and epigrambooks.sg

Constance Singam - the fiery civil society activist who fought for the marginalised and tackled issues such as domestic violence against women - has her mother's Keralan cooking to thank for sparking her love of food.

In this book - a charming mix of memoir and cookbook - she taps on the tastes and smells she grew up with and recounts the evolution of food in Singapore against the backdrop of the country's changing society over the last 70 years.


PHOTO- GRAPHY

PHOTOGRAPHY IN SOUTH- EAST ASIA: A SURVEY

By Zhuang Wubin

NUS Press/ Hardcover/ 524 pages/$48/ Various bookstores, including NUS Press Shop, Books Kinokuniya, Basheer Graphic Books and Select Books

This hefty tome charts how photographic practices emerged and evolved in South-east Asia, reaching as far back as the colonial era, when photographic technology landed in the hands of local photo- graphers here from visiting practitioners.

There are chapters dedicated to individual countries, from Laos to Vietnam, making for a solid and intriguing look at how photography took root around the region and how images and image-making had a hand in shaping society, culture and politics.


POETRY AND PHOTOGRAPHY

THIS IS NOT A SAFETY BARRIER: AN ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY & PHOTOGRAPHY

Edited by Marc Nair and Yen Phang

Ethos Books/Paperback/144 pages/ $18.70/Major bookstores

This collection of poems and photographs from 69 contributors, ranging from published poets to students to migrant workers, is out to push the boundaries.

They challenge barriers - from the physical to the ideological - in Singapore, a country riding a constant wave of development and change.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 06, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore Shelf'. Print Edition | Subscribe