- About the Author
Shortlisted for Best Fiction Title for Singapore Book Awards 2016
Shortlisted for Best Book Cover Design for Singapore Book Awards 2016
In the fight for independence, one young woman seeks freedom for herself. Born an orphan with an unlucky blemish under her eye, Big Mole is stuck running an ornamental fish shop with her roguish boyfriend Hong. When their friend is killed in cold blood on his first day as a secret society gangster, Hong forms a band of brothers and swears ruthless revenge. Big Mole finds herself reeled into a brutal mass murder and dangerous affection for ex-spider boy Kwang, with the colonial police and local investigators hot on their heels.
This thrilling sequel to the seminal Spider Boys marks Ming Cher’s long-awaited return after two decades. Crackling with the seedy spirit of late 1950’s Singapore, rife with possibilities, Big Mole will transport and invigorate you as, with the tenacity of an exotic fighting fish, one blemish turns to beauty spot.
“Spider Boys draws us into an exotic world which becomes increasingly familiar and engaging with every page. In Ming Cher’s hands, the hybrid dialect of Singapore street youth becomes uncannily evocative and poetic. At times I was reminded of S.E. Hinton, but this is a highly original novel—gritty and tender and thoroughly fascinating.”
—Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and Brightness Falls
“Haunting and sexy, Spider Boys is an astonishing book. Ming Cher’s jagged English pulls no punches. Spider Boys will remain with you long after you finish reading it.”
—Peter Hedges, author of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
Born in Singapore in 1947 in Bukit Ho Swee, then a slum village in Singapore, Ming Cher was one of seven children. He left school at thirteen and became a street drifter in the manner of the characters in his debut novel, Spider Boys. First published by Penguin New Zealand and William Morrow in 1995, the critically acclaimed book was one of the first Singapore novels released by major publishing houses overseas, and is notable for its inventive use of colloquial Singapore English. It was republished in grammatical Standard English by Epigram Books as part of the Singapore Classics series in 2012.
The 1995 recipient of the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship, Ming Cher has also worked as a construction supervisor on a hospital project in South Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War, a merchant seaman, and an importer and retailer of Indonesian goods. He has lived in New Zealand since 1977.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 232
Year Published: 2015
Size: 153mm x 225mm