Fiction Shortlist

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Bury What We Cannot Take

Bury What We Cannot Take
Kirstin Chen

Bury What We Cannot Take
Little A, Amazon Publishing
2018
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Bury What We Cannot Take

The day San San and her brother Ah Liam’s lives are forever changed is the day they discover their grandmother taking a hammer to Chairman Mao’s portrait. Believing he is doing right by proving his loyalty to the Party, Ah Liam reports his grandmother, setting in motion a terrible chain of events.

Against the backdrop of early Maoist China, this captivating tale follows a family as they grapple with the far-reaching consequences of their decisions and their hope for redemption.

Kirstin Chen

Author
Kirstin Chen

Kirstin Chen is the bestselling author of Bury What We Cannot Take and Soy Sauce for Beginners. She has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Sewanee, Hedgebrook, and the Napa Valley Writers' Conference. Her writing appears in Real Simple, Literary Hub, Writer’s Digest, Manrepeller, and Zyzzyva. Born and raised in Singapore, she currently lives in San Francisco. She teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco and at Ashland University.

Delayed Rays of a Star

Delayed Rays of a Star
Amanda Lee Koe

Delayed Rays of a Star

When a photographer captures Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong and Leni Riefenstahl during 1928 in Berlin, nobody realises how their lives will reflect the upcoming tumultuous decades.

As the story shifts, we also meet a Chinese housemaid attempting to leave the past behind, an obsessive Hollywood auteur and a German soldier involved in a propaganda film.

Whom does history remember? This debut about ambition, art, and the political tides of time introduces a mesmerising literary talent.

Amanda Lee Koe

Author
Amanda Lee Koe

Amanda Lee Koe was the fiction editor of Esquire Singapore, an honorary fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, the recipient of Columbia University’s Henfield Prize, and the youngest winner of the Singapore Literature Prize. Born in Singapore, she lives in New York. This is her first novel.

How We Disappeared

How We Disappeared
Jing-Jing Lee

How We Disappeared
Oneworld Publication
2019
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How We Disappeared

Japanese troops invade Malaya and Singapore in 1942, ransacking a village, leaving three survivors including a child.

17-year-old Wang Di is sent from a neighbouring village to a Japanese military brothel, and her experiences haunt her after decades of silence.

In 2000, Kevin overhears a mumbled confession from his ailing grandmother. He attempts to discover the truth, setting unforeseen events in motion.

This evocative debut opens a window on a little-known period in history, and introduces a thrilling new writer.

Jing-Jing Lee

Author
Jing-Jing Lee

Jing-Jing Lee was born and raised in Singapore and graduated from Oxford’s Creative Writing Masters in 2011. Her poetry and short stories have been published in various journals and anthologies. Her novella If I Could Tell You was published by Marshall Cavendish and her debut poetry collection And Other Rivers was published by Math Paper Press. Lee’s work comes from a wish for lesser-heard voices to be included in the mainstream narrative. She now lives in Amsterdam with her husband.

Lion City

Lion City
Ng Yi-Sheng

Lion City

A man learns that all the animals at the Zoo are robots. A secret terminal in Changi Airport caters to deities. A prince falls in love with a crocodile. A concubine is lost in time. Singapore disappears.

These are the strange tales of Lion City, the first collection of short fiction by award-winning poet and playwright Ng Yi-Sheng.

Infused with myth, magical realism and contemporary sci-fi, Lion City invites you to see Singapore in a new and darkly fabulous light.

Ng Yi-Sheng

Author
Ng Yi-Sheng

Ng Yi-Sheng is a poet, fictionist and activist. His debut poetry collection last boy won the Singapore Literature Prize, which he followed up with A Book of Hims, its spiritual sequel.

His other works include Loud Poems for a Very Obliging Audience and a novelisation of Eating Air. He co-edited GASPP: A Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry and Prose and recently completed his MA from the University of East Anglia’s creative writing programme. Lion City is his first fiction collection.

Modern Myths

Modern Myths
Clara Chow

Modern Myths
Math Paper Press
2018
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Modern Myths

Figures from Greek mythology take up residence in contemporary Singapore in this collection of stories that explores the pain and dilemma of modern living. What happens when you are doomed to repeat your actions over and over? Or when you have to remake your decisions, knowing that times have changed? What if struggling makes the divine human, and the human divine?

Clara Chow

Author
Clara Chow

Clara Chow is the author of Dream Storeys and Modern Myths. She was an honorary fellow at the International Writing Program in Iowa in 2019.

Nimita’s Place

Nimita’s Place
Akshita Nanda

Nimita’s Place

In India 1944, Nimita Khosla yearns to attend university to pursue engineering, but her parents want her to marry. As she accepts her fate, religious upheaval splits the country and displaces her family.

In 2014, her granddaughter, molecular biologist Nimita Sachdev, emigrates to avoid an arranged marriage. Arriving in Singapore, she faces rising anger against immigrants and uncertainty about her new home.

Two women walk divergent paths but face the same quandaries: who are we, and what is home?

Akshita Nanda

Author
Akshita Nanda

Akshita Nanda was born in Pune, India in 1979 and has lived in Singapore since 1995. She has a BSc (Hons) from the National University of Singapore and knows what to do with radioactive viruses. She has been in publishing since 2002 and joined The Straits Times in 2007, where she currently writes about the arts. Nimita’s Place is her first novel.