Singapore Literature and Culture
Current Directions in Local and Global Contexts
Since the nation-state sprang into being in 1965, Singapore literature in English has blossomed energetically, and yet there have been few books focusing on contextualizing and analyzing Singapore literature despite the increasing international attention garnered by Singaporean writers. This volume brings Anglophone Singapore literature to a wider global audience for the first time, embedding it more closely within literary developments worldwide. Drawing upon postcolonial studies, Singapore studies, and critical discussions in transnationalism and globalization, essays unearth and introduce neglected writers, cast new light on established writers, and examine texts in relation to their specific Singaporean local-historical contexts while also engaging with contemporary issues in Singapore society. Singaporean writers are producing work informed by debates and trends in queer studies, feminism, multiculturalism and social justice -- work which urgently calls for scholarly engagement. This groundbreaking collection of essays aims to set new directions for further scholarship in this exciting and various body of writing from a place that, despite being just a small ‘red dot’ on the global map, has much to say to scholars and students worldwide interested in issues of nationalism, diaspora, cosmopolitanism, neoliberalism, immigration, urban space, as well as literary form and content. This book brings Singapore literature and literary criticism into greater global legibility and charts pathways for future developments.
Table of Contents
Introduction Angus Whitehead and Angelia Poon
1. Singaporean Literature and Global Modernism: Wang Gungwu, Lloyd Fernando, Lydia Kwa Weihsin Gui
2. "We who have no country but our century": Wong May, Singapore-stateless Poet Angus Whitehead
3. The Social Life of Genres: Short Stories as a Singapore Form Philip Holden
4. Super-Diversity and its Implications in Two Singapore Texts Sim Wai Chew
5. Of Language and Beyond: Enoch Ng Kwang Cheng, FirstFruits, and Singapore Literature E.K. Tan
6. The Politics and Poetics of Location in Contemporary Diasporic Singapore Fiction Cheryl Narumi Naruse
7. ‘A Kind of Pursuit’: On Boey Kim Cheng’s poetry Shirley Chew
8. A Luxury We Cannot Afford and the Poetry of Yong Shu Hoong, Toh Hsien Min, and Boey Kim Cheng Eddie Tay
9. A City without a Nation: Personal and Collective Memory in the Fiction of Gopal Baratham Steve Clark
10. "Burning In Your Hands": Queer Literature in Singapore Ng Yi-Sheng
11. In Praise of Failed Men: the Singapore Novel and the Politics of Masculinity Angelia Poon
12. Strangers, Surrogates, Lovers: Foreign Domestic Workers in Contemporary Singapore Texts Joanne Leow
Angelia Poon is Associate Professor of English Literature and Deputy Head of the English Language and Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Angus Whitehead is Assistant Professor in the department of English Language & Literature at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.