Posts filed under ‘NBDCS’
Singapore: a trading post where different lives jostle and mix. It is 1927 and three young people are starting to question whether this inbetween island can ever truly be their home.
Mei Lan comes from a famous Chinese dynasty but yearns to free herself from its stifling traditions; Howard seethes at the indignities heaped on his fellow Eurasians by the colonial British; and Raj, fresh off the boat from India, wants only to work hard and become a successful businessman.
As the years pass, Singapore falls to the Japanese. While suffering the agonies of occupation, the three are thrown together in unexpected ways, and tested to the breaking point.
A page-turner, A Different Sky succeeds in giving a panoramic view of pre-independence Singapore and getting readers to connect with the principal characters who fought their own wars to get through the tumultuous years. Join us as author Meira Chand shares about her experiences in researching and writing A Different Sky.
Other guests include Prof Koh Tai Ann and Deepika Shetty.
The session will take place on Friday, 3 December at 7:00 p.m. in the Earshot Cafe at The Arts House.
On August 4, 2010, Dr Catherine Carey (Teaching Consultant in HCI’s English department) attended an all-day workshop conducted by Professor Shirley Geok-lin Lim called “Approaches to Teaching Singapore Anglophone Literature.” The workshop was sponsored by the National Book Development Council and held at the National Library. Following is Dr Carey’s report on the event:
From reading her memoir Among the White Moon Faces, I knew that Lim grew up among her father’s people in Malacca but periodically travelled across the Straits to visit her mother, who had deserted the five children when the father’s Bata shoe store failed. I was interested in the tensions she described so vividly: how in the eyes of her father’s family she and her brothers were “not Chinese enough,” yet the father’s clan by her wealthy Peranakan aunt’s standards was crudely “Chinese.” Lim, a scrappy kid, eked out an education, discovering a talent for writing, which led her to marriage in America and a college teaching career.
Lim is a well-recognized scholar in Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies. Her poetry, memoir, and fiction has introduced many readers in the West to Southeast Asia, and she is that disappearing breed of academic who is both scholar and creative writer. She has found a congenial academic home at the University of California, Santa Barbara, but Lim was well into her forties before she overcame her marginalized status as woman, mother, and Asian. She is the recipient of many prestigious prizes for her writing and scholarly work.
A primary purpose of the workshop was to launch a new anthology, Writing Singapore: An Historical Anthology of Singapore Literature, edited by Lim and local writers Angelia Poon and Philip Holden. The collection includes primary records of colonial Singapore that present opportunities to predict and compare. For instance, Lim highlighted several pre-independence writings as invitations to discuss “Does history repeat itself?” or “How has Singapore changed and not changed?”
She categorized writers of the “nation-building” period as “inventors” and gave a number of suggestions for interdisciplinary work on the primary materials in the anthology. She singled out later writers that she termed “interveners,” or “critics’ and illustrated their struggle to envision citizenship in the newly forming state. Noting the range of contemporary voices and texts in the anthology, questions surface, Lim believes, not only of who is writing but who is reading. “Depending on the interpretive community, we may not all be reading the same book.” Students might enjoy the task of sorting through the identity progressions raised by the range of literature assembled for the first time especially for the purpose of teaching.
In addition, several Singapore authors “dropped in” to be interviewed by Lim and to read from their works-in-progress. They encouraged the attendees to “write” Singapore also. “Just write the strangers in your head,” advised novelist Suchen Christine Lim. An invitation was also issued to join in the “writing the city” effort sponsored by the British Council and continuing in September.
The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS), in conjuction with The Arts House and the NUS Literary Society, are once again hosting the All In! Young Writers Seminar on 20 February, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at The Arts House. This year’s theme is “Writing and the New Media.”
The target audience is students from junior colleges, polytechnics, and universities, but upper secondary students are also encouraged to attend.
From the press release:
WHAT YOU’LL GETThis seminar will provide an insight into:
- How the Internet and web technologies have evolved and are evolving
- How has the traditional publishing value chain been affected by IT and the new media
- Writing in the larger context of Digital Media
- How to keep up to date with new developments
- Future trends like e-books, e-readers, interactive and multimedia content
- Responsible blogging
Admission is completely free, but you’ll need to register ASAP in order to secure your spot at the seminar. Here’s how: