The author-in-attendance programme continues in May at the Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop. This time, you can expect to see a mix of authors, artists and poets, including veteran poet/author Robert Yeo (The Adventures of Holden Heng), the Singapore Literature Prize-winning writer Melissa De Silva ('Others' Is Not a Race); and bestselling authors Teo You Yenn (This is What Inequality Looks Like) and Clarissa Goenawan (Rainbirds).
Previous participants included Felix Cheong, Ng Yi-Sheng, Balli Kaur Jaswal, Peh Shing Huei, Monica Lim and Lesley-Anne Tan, and Sebastian Sim.
Why are we doing this? One reason is that we want to look for new ways to introduce the world of SingLit to you, and we hope that this will give you a chance to meet the creators of these stories, characters and worlds that have entranced all of us. We're sure they won't mind if you stopped by to say "hi". See you there!
The Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop is located at 45 Maxwell Road, #01-01, Singapore 069118 (across from the Maxwell Food Centre).
Get coffee: 7am to 5.30pm (Mon-Fri), 8am to noon (Sat)
Get books: 10am to 7pm (Mon-Fri), 10am to 2pm (Sat)
Closed on Sun.
QUEK HONG SHIN (2-3 May) is the author and illustrator of the bestselling picture books, including The Amazing Sarong and The Incredible Basket. The Amazing Sarong — the first book he wrote and illustrated — was shortlisted for Best Children's Title at the 2016 Singapore Book Awards, and the 2018 Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award. He also conducts workshops for primary-school children and is an advocate for Superhero Me, an inclusive arts movement for children with special needs. His new book, The Brilliant Oil Lamp will be published in mid-2019.
EDMUND LIM (4 May) tells a poignant story in Where’s Grandma?, about how one boy copes after his beloved Grandma has Alzheimer’s disease, only to discover something more powerful. This children’s book was inspired by his family and his desire to educate children, and won the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award.
SUFFIAN HAKIM (6-10 May) has been making waves in the Singlit scene in recent years: first, with his self-published humorous parody, Harris Bin Potter and the Stoned Philosopher (a reworked edition will be re-released by Epigram later this year); and later, with his sophomore novel, The Minorities. He was a featured speaker at the Singapore Writers Festival last year and at the Cairo Literature Festival earlier this year.
CARISSA FOO (13-17 May) is the author of If It Were Up to Mrs Dada. By day, she teaches at Yale-NUS College, with her research interest being in modernist women's writing. Before she became an academic, she was formerly the bassist for all-girl alt-pop local band Tuzi (which means "rabbit" in Mandarin), which won the national SuperBand competition and produced their debut album Hey! When she is not at the university, she teaches conversational English to migrant workers.
MELISSA DE SILVA (21 May) started writing for magazines and periodicals more than 20 years ago. Her book, 'Others' is Not a Race, won the Singapore Literature Prize for creative non-fiction in 2018. Her stories have been published in various anthologies, including Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume Three, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction.
SEBASTIAN SIM (22 May) has held various jobs over the years – croupier, prison officer, bartender, fast-food outlet manager – all for the purpose of enabling him to focus on his writing. His started with Chinese wuxia novels, before writing his first English novel, Let's Give It Up For Gimme Lao!, which was a finalist for the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize. His second English novel, The Riot Act, won the 2017 edition of the Prize.
TEO YOU YENN (24 May) is a sociologist whose book, This is What Inequality Looks Like, has flown off the shelves and stayed on the bestseller lists since it was published more than a year ago. The book focuses on the income gap in Singapore and the Associate Professor and Head of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University spent three years visiting various neighbourhoods (including two HDB rental flat neighbourhoods) to research for the book.
CLARISSA GOENAWAN (28-30 May) made waves with her debut novel, Rainbirds. It won the Bath Novel Award and was shortlisted for three further prizes. Her short stories have also won several awards and have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies.
ROBERT YEO (31 May) has written poetry, a novel, stage plays, essays on cultural policy and theatre, complied anthologies on Singaporean literature and co-written books on the teaching of literature for secondary schools. Regarded as a pioneer of Singapore literature, he was honoured with the prestigious South East Asian Writers Award in 2011 for literary excellence in the ASEAN region. His poems have been collected into anthologies such as The Best of Robert Yeo. His novel The Adventures of Holden Heng — a tale about a young man who finds himself with three different women — has been touted as a literary classic of the genre. His three connected plays were as The Singapore Trilogy, considered a seminal work in the development of Singapore theatre.