In a previous post, I wrote, “I’m… working my way through books about or set in Singapore by Singaporeans.” So far, I’ve read two anthologies: Tumasik: Contemporary Writing from Singapore edited by Alvin Pang and Writing Singapore: An Historical Anthology of Singapore Literature edited by Angelia Poon, Philip Holden, and Shirley Lim Geok-Lin. I’ve also read a number of books by contemporary writers, such as Alvin Pang, Alfian bin Sa’at, Verena Tay, Cyril Wong. (I’m currently reading Sonnets From the Singlish, a collection of 44 poems on love and language, by Joshua Ip.*)
I recently discovered Singapore Literature in English, an incredible annotated bibliography, and am a bit overwhelmed! So, I turn to you. Singapore friends, what “local” works (fiction, poetry, theatre) would you consider canonical**? What texts has a university-bound secondary school student studied?
* Full disclosure: Sonnets From the Singlish was a generous gift from the talented team at BooksActually.
** Yes, I know “canonical” is a problematic term. Run with me here.
(Additional credits: Photograph via BooksActually’s Tumblr.)