Singapore Shelf

POETRY

LINES SPARK CODE

Edited by Christine Chia and Aaron Lee

Ethos Books/Paperback/96 pages/ $21.40/ Major bookstores

This anthology marks a milestone as the first commissioned by the Ministry of Education to help prepare students to analyse local poems in the A-level examinations.

It features a spectrum of works from more than 40 poets, both established and emerging, from literary pioneers such as Edwin Thumboo and Lee Tzu Pheng to newer voices Tania De Rozario and Theophilus Kwek.

READING TO TED HESBURGH

By Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde

Squircle Line Press/Paperback/ 131 pages/$20.33/ Books Kinokuniya Nine years ago, Kon spent Christmas reading to a blind priest who turned out to be Theodore Hesburgh, one of the most decorated people in American history. He pays tribute to that night and commemorates Hesburgh's birth centennial with this experimental collection of prose poems and graphics, billed as an "alphabetical book of visual fields" and liberally peppered with philosophical references.


FICTION

REGRETTABLE THINGS THAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY

By Jennani Durai

Epigram Books/Paperback/ 216 pages/$20.22/ shop.epigrambooks.sg, in major bookstores in two weeks' time

In these 10 short stories, Durai, a former journalist, looks at newspapers and the unexpected ways in which they affect our lives.

From crime reports and obituaries to job ads and horoscopes, from a man tasked with bringing the corpse of his estranged brother home from Phuket, to a reporter torn between respecting her friend's privacy and doing her job, Durai's short fiction debut gives an insight into the world of making the news.


NON-FICTION

SINGAPORE, INCOMPLETE

By Cherian George

Woodsville News/Paperback/ 216 pages/$25/ Available for pre-order from www.ethosbooks.com.sg

George, a Hong Kong-based academic and author of Singapore: The Air-Conditioned Nation (2000), reflects in this collection of essays on the state of politics in the Republic, from the Population White Paper to the recent presidential election.

THE PRESIDENTS OF SINGAPORE

By Edmund Lim

Straits Times Press/Paperback/ 44 to 60 pages, varies between titles/$10/Major bookstores

The first three books of this series on Singapore's presidents feature Yusof Ishak, Benjamin Sheares and Devan Nair and include facts such as how the president is chosen and what his or her duties are.


MISCELLANEOUS

LIVING IN BABEL

Edited by Tan Dan Feng

Canopy/Paperback/104 pages/ $23 before GST/Major bookstores and The Select Centre

This anthology of poetry, essays and short stories, produced by The Select Centre, translates into English for the first time, works from Chinese, Malay and Tamil by the likes of writers Yeng Pway Ngon, Mohamed Latiff Mohamed and Elancharan Gunasekaran.

In it, a Hakka girl goes on a prata adventure in her housing estate; a villager covets the organs of a black panther so he can father an heir; a housewife tosses a pistol into Rochor Canal in the middle of the night.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore Shelf'. Print Edition | Subscribe