Singapore Shelf

FICTION

ORGAN GOLD

By Raju Chellam

Straits Times Press/ Paperback/ 312 pages/ $26.75/ Major bookstores

In this medical thriller about black-market organ trading, an American teenager visiting Singapore gets shoved through a window and ends up in a coma.

As his parents agonise over whether he will wake up and how to pay his ballooning hospital bills, a mystery man gets in contact with an offer of US$200,000 (S$273,000) for their son's organs.


A YELLOW HOUSE

By Karien Van Ditzhuijzen

Monsoon Books/ Paperback/ 368 pages/ $19.80/ Books Kinokuniya and Times

Lonely 10-year-old Maya is ready to hate new Indonesian domestic worker Aunty M, but the two form a bond after Maya witnesses Aunty M rescue a neighbouring maid from her abusive employer. Through Aunty M's crusade, they meet more and more women in need, but must hide their activities from Maya's mother.

Singapore-based Dutch writer Van Ditzhuijzen draws on her volunteer work with the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics to depict the plight of domestic workers in Singapore.


NON-FICTION

HOME IS NOT HERE

By Wang Gungwu

NUS Press/ Hardcover/ 216 pages/ $25.68/ Books Kinokuniya and nuspress.nus.edu.sg

Prof Wang, who is University Professor of the National University of Singapore, is best known for his writings on Chinese history, but now turns to the history of his own life. In this memoir, he recounts the cultural contradictions of his upbringing in Ipoh, learning English in colonial schools and Confucian classics at home.

Having survived the Japanese Occupation of World War II, he went to study at the National Central University in Nanjing, only to have his education interrupted by the victory of Mao Zedong's Communist Party.


POETRY

WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OFF

By Paul Tan

Landmark Books/ Paperback/ 79 pages/ $19.90/ Books Kinokuniya

The former Singapore Writers Festival director, now deputy chief executive of the National Arts Council, ruminates about middle age in his fifth volume of verse.

From a section on the seven sins to poetry inspired by Chinese phrases and the memories of Thai king Prajadhipok, who died in exile in Britain, these poems look at ageing, love and loss.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore Shelf'. Print Edition | Subscribe