Who knew our tiny island-nation could inspire such great writing?
1. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (2013)
This national and international bestseller is loosely based on the author’s childhood in Singapore. The first in a trilogy, the satirical novel follows the story of Nick Young, an NYU professor and heir to an old-money Singaporean family, as he brings his “American Born Chinese” girlfriend Rachu Chu back home to attend the wedding of the year (and meet his family) – where conflict and comedy ensues.
2. Inheritance by Balli Kaur Jaswal (2013)
Balli Kaur Jaswal’s largely successful debut novel centres on a Sikh family living thru 1970’s to 1990’s Singapore. This coming-of-age tale of our nation details the struggles faced by different members of the family as they grow alongside a Singapore searching for its political and social identity, at the same time addressing sensitive issues like homosexuality, mental illness and the tensions between tradition and modernity.
3. Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe (2014)
Winner of the 2016 Singapore Book Award for Best Fiction, this anthology of short stories has been lauded for its character-centric stories that explore provocative themes such as that of sex, death and even unconventional or taboo relationships. Honest and at times unsettling, these heartfelt stories resonate deeply with many Singaporeans today.