Singapore Shelf

POETRY

A BOOK OF HIMS

By Ng Yi-Sheng

Math Paper Press/Paperback/ 91 pages/$16/BooksActually

This is a sequel of sorts to Ng's Singapore Literature Prize-winning debut collection Last Boy (2006), as he parses love and faith in haiku, ghazal, jueju and more, from meditations on the spiritual to a tribute to the eponymous elephant of Kirsten Tan's film Pop Aye (2017).


MOTHER OF ALL QUESTIONS

By Grace Chia

Math Paper Press/Paperback/ 89 pages/$16/BooksActually

After venturing into prose last year, Chia returns to verse in this frank, confessional collection on womanhood - from the perspectives of daughter, wife, mother and more - shifting from the wry to the elegiac.


SIKIT-SIKIT LAMA-LAMA JADI BUKIT

Edited by Annaliza Bakri

Math Paper Press/Paperback/ 151 pages/$19/BooksActually

This anthology brings together translated works by local Malay poets, from Cultural Medallion recipients Mohamed Latiff Mohamed and Suratman Markasan to emerging voices such as Zulfadli Rashid and Noorhaqmal Mohamed Noor.


FICTION

GULL BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH

By Boey Kim Cheng

Epigram Books/Paperback/ 288 pages/$26.64/Major bookstores

Acclaimed poet Boey's debut novel follows the life of renowned Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu, a struggling writer constantly wracked with guilt for not fulfilling his potential and providing properly for his family, through the tumult of civil war and his friendship with famous poet Li Bai.


FINDING MARIA

By Dawn Farnham

Monsoon Books/Paperback/ 336 pages/$19.90/Books Kinokuniya

Amid the 1950 Maria Hertogh riots, Eurasian Annie Collins returns to Singapore seeking her own lost baby, also called Maria. But disruptive visions cause her to question not just her own wartime memories, but also her identity.


THE MINORITIES

By Suffian Hakim

Suffian Hakim/Paperback/328 pages/ $26.75/Books Kinokuniya and BooksActually

The man behind viral home-grown Harry Potter parody Harris Bin Potter And The Stoned Philosopher makes his original fiction debut with this zany tale of a struggling Singaporean inventor who shares his house with two illegally overstaying migrants and a laboratory technician on the run from her abusive husband. Before long, a pontianak haunts them.


MY LOVE IS BLIND

By Tan Guan Heng

Asiapac Books/Paperback/ 224 pages/$19.26/Books Kinokuniya and BooksActually

More than 20 years after it was published in 1995, Tan's novel about a Singaporean student who loses his vision - based on his own life - returns in a new edition.


NON-FICTION

MADONNAS AND MAVERICKS

By Loretta Chen

Marshall Cavendish/Paperback/ 400 pages/$34.24/Major bookstores

Chen interviews 17 notable Singaporean women in various fields, including President Halimah Yacob, opposition politician Sylvia Lim, Paralympian Theresa Goh and farmer and eco-activist Ivy Singh-Lim.


LOCAL ENCOUNTERS IN A GLOBAL CITY

Edited by Anju Mary Paul

Ethos Books/Paperback/221 pages/ $21.40/Books Kinokuniya, Times and www.ethosbooks.com.sg

Through 15 first-person essays by Yale-NUS College students, readers get a glimpse of how globalisation has transformed Singapore's spaces, from the opulence of Raffles Hotel to the weekend flea market on Lucky Plaza's top floor.


CHILDREN'S

DREAM ISLAND: THE MAD, MAD WORLD OF PHILIP YEO

By Peh Shing Huei, illustrated by Lai Hui Li

Epigram Books/Paperback/32 pages/ $15.94/Major bookstores

A whimsical picture book that tells the story of former Economic Development Board chairman Philip Yeo and his bold project to create Jurong Island, by the same author who wrote Mr Yeo's best-selling biography, Neither Civil Nor Servant.


THE PHANTOM OF OXLEY CASTLE

By Liana Gurung and Chloe Tong, illustrated by Anngee Neo

Epigram Books/Hardcover/32 pages/ $18.08/shop.epigrambooks.sg and localbooks.sg

A book that created a kerfuffle even before it hit shelves, this children's story is about two young princes and a princess who live in a 38-room castle with their butler OB Markus and their dog Coffee. One night, they hear a strange noise coming from the dungeon and decide to investigate. Young children are not likely to appreciate the unsubtle political innuendo within these pages.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore Shelf'. Print Edition | Subscribe