7 books by Singapore writers to look forward to in 2022

The Verifiers by Jane Pek (left) and Searching For Lee Wen by Chan Li Shan. PHOTOS: VINTAGE, EPIGRAM BOOKS

SINGAPORE - As people turn the page to a new year, 2022 promises a bumper crop of exciting new titles from home-grown authors. Here are seven books with a Singapore connection to look forward to this year.

1. The Verifiers

By Jane Pek
Expected on Feb 22

Claudia Lin, a mystery enthusiast with an English literature degree, gets recruited as a sleuth for Veracity, a dating detective agency in New York City.

She verifies people's online lives - or uncovers their lies, whatever the case may be - while fending off her own family's snooping into her work and love life.

But when a client with an unusual request goes missing, Claudia winds up breaking protocol to investigate.

The debut novel from Pek, a Singaporean lawyer based in New York, has gained early praise from acclaimed authors such as Emily St John Mandel and National Book Award winner Charles Yu.

2. Searching For Lee Wen

By Chan Li Shan
Expected in April

Chan delves into the story of one of Singapore's most prominent performance artists: Lee, a Cultural Medallion recipient famed for his iconic Yellow Man series, who died in 2019, aged 61, from a lung infection.

Chan is a mental-health advocate and PhD candidate at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, where she has been awarded the Biography Prize for her work on Lee.

Last year, the Singaporean published a picture book on the artist, Yellow Man, which was illustrated by comic artist Weng Pixin.

3. Watersong

By Clarissa Goenawan
Expected on June 9


The Indonesia-born Singaporean's third novel is, like its predecessors Rainbirds (2018) and The Perfect World Of Miwako Sumida (2020), an offbeat mystery set in Japan.

Shouji Arai is haunted by dreams of drowning and the words of a fortune teller, who warned him to avoid three women with water in their names.

After crossing a powerful client, he flees to Tokyo to track down his missing girlfriend Youko - only to realise that not everything she told him about herself was true.

4. Lucie Yi Is Not A Romantic

By Lauren Ho
Expected on June 21


The Singapore-based Malaysian author cracked The Straits Times' bestsellers list for fiction in 2020 with her frothy debut Last Tang Standing, and is now back for romcom round two.

After a disastrous break-up, management consultant Lucie Yi no longer wants to wait around for Mr Right to have kids.

Instead, she signs up for an elective co-parenting website to find someone to platonically have a baby with.

When she moves back home to Singapore, however, she must face the displeasure of her traditional family, as well as the reappearance of her ex-fiance.

5. The Interpreter's Daughter

By Teresa Lim
Expected on June 23

The London-based author, who grew up in Singapore, was inspired to trace the history of her family by a treasured photograph taken in Hong Kong in 1935.

In the last years of her life, Lim's mother had copies of the portrait made for those in it who were still alive.

Lim was fascinated by the fierce beauty of her great-aunt Fanny in the photograph, but wondered why Fanny never seemed to feature in the stories the family told.

Researching Fanny's past, she discovered remarkable stories, from ghost husbands and working-class feminists in 19th-century south China to wartime Singapore to a long-buried family tragedy.

6. Counterfeit

By Kirstin Chen
Expected on July 21


Chinese-American lawyer Ava Wong has always played by the rules. But beneath the pictureperfect facade of her life, her marriage is crumbling, her toddler is driving her insane and she has not used her law degree in years.

When Winnie Fang, Ava's mysterious former college roommate from mainland China, resurfaces after 20 years, she draws Ava into a cunning scheme to import counterfeit luxury handbags.

Chen, a Singaporean writer who is based in San Francisco, was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize for her second novel, Bury What We Cannot Take (2018).

Counterfeit has already been generating buzz, with screen rights optioned by Sony Pictures Television's TriStar.

7. The Genesis Of Misery

By Neon Yang
Expected in September

Singaporean author Neon Yang. PHOTO: ST FILE

Imagine Joan of Arc - the 15th-century teenager who led the French army into war based on her holy visions, then was burnt at the stake and later canonised as a saint - but in space.

Throw in some giant robots and you have the first of the Nullvoid Chronicles, a new science-fiction trilogy from Yang, author of the Tensorate fantasy series (2017 to 2019) and one of the first Singaporean finalists for the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

Misery Nomaki, raised on a remote moon colony, hears the voice of an angel. This is probably a delusion brought on by hereditary space exposure, but Misery's survival depends on keeping up the charade and convincing the Emperor of the Faithful of the visions' veracity. But what if it is all in fact real?

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