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A Certain Exposure

Publisher: Epigram Books

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Selected by The Straits Times as one of the Best Books of 2014
Selected by The Business Times as one of the Best Books of 2014
Recommended by the National Library Board, Singapore and Ministry of Communications and Information

“An exciting debut novel that delves beneath the surface of Singapore society, questioning the dominant value systems and asking if there’s a better way for us to live.”
Jeremy Tiang, 2019 Singapore Literature Prize winner 

Jolene Tan

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Satirical and sympathetic, political and personal, A Certain Exposure traces the adolescences of twin brothers Andrew and Brian, culminating in the explosive events leading to Andrew’s tragic death. This is a classic coming-of-age tale doubled across two vividly individual brothers, who struggle to navigate a complex tangle of relationships and coercive forces, cinematically interwoven with the yearnings and fears of an ensemble of mothers, fathers, cousins, friends and lovers both false and true. This wide-ranging debut beautifully presents the resonances and the ghosts of lost possibilities, as well as a gripping story of hope and betrayal.

Praise for A Certain Exposure
“One of the best novels I’ve read recently…a haunting story about elitism and prejudice in a society which recites daily pledges to maintain equality for all.”
Balli Kaur Jaswal, bestselling author of Sugarbread, Inheritance and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

“A masterful debut. Jolene Tan has written, in devastatingly beautiful prose, a quiet book about disquieting things. She lays bare the dark hearts of our sentimentalized HDB ‘Heartlanders’ and our vaunted government ‘scholars’ and finds: coldness, sanctimony, and corrosive attitudes the more damaging for their utter casualness. This is a passionate warning, a chronicle of tragedy foretold. How will we save our selves and our soul? Like Anthony Chen’s film Ilo Ilo, A Certain Exposure already has the feel of an essential Singapore classic.”
—Sandi Tan, author of The Black Isle

A Certain Exposure is an intimately layered story about twin brothers forging different paths through the intricacies and prejudices of Singapore society, but will strike a chord wherever the struggle between personal values and social pressures is experienced.”
—Ovidia Yu, author of Aunty Lee’s Delights

“One of the best debuts of 2014, this sometimes strident but largely effective novel begins with the suicide of a government scholar and proceeds to dissect elitism, racism, homophobia and other taboo topics in Singapore.”
—Helmi Yusof, The Business Times

“Tan holds a merciless mirror to readers' eyes, showing how easily one moves into an accepted and existing pattern of behaviour. A writer to watch.”
—Akshita Nanda, author of Nimita's Place

“Utilising her involvement in AWARE, Singapore’s leading gender equality advocate group, Jolene delves into social issues, like sexism, homophobia, and racism in a manner that painfully hits home.”
—Ang Jia Yun, npTribune

About the Author
Jolene Tan is a writer and activist who lives in Singapore with her partner, child, two bunnies and a rotating cast of bugs in jars. She has also lived in the UK, the US and Germany. She has also written the picture book, Saturday's Surprisingly Super-Duper Lesson.

ISBN: 9789810788285
Format: Paperback
Size: 130 x 200mm
Pages: 224pp
Published: April 2014

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ISBN: 9789810788285