Monday, February 25, 2013

Event: CakapHeritage - Let’s Talk About Heritage! with Ann Wee

Singapore Heritage Society and Select Books are pleased to invite you to CakapHeritage - Let’s Talk About Heritage! with Ann Wee on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at 3:00pm at Select Books.

About the Talk
Find out what being a woman was like in the tumultuous world of 1950s' Singapore from a pioneer of health education and social work. Listen to Ann Wee’s tales of the troubles faced by women in the 1950s and the drive to protect their rights and welfare. Drawing on her wealth of knowledge and experience, as well as her sharp and insightful observations, Ann will guide us through the problems encountered by women in the years leading up to Singapore’s independence.

Don’t miss this chance to rediscover a fascinating and important part of our heritage and to learn more about the challenges faced by our mothers and grandmothers.

About Ann Wee
Ann Wee is Associate Professorial Fellow with the Department of Social Work at the National University of Singapore. She arrived in Singapore in 1950 and first taught in Methodist Girls’ School from 1950 through 1954. In her work with the Social Welfare Department from 1955-1956, she saw some of the struggles of ordinary people to obtain schooling, and also came to know about the role of Chinese village schools in encouraging education in Singapore.

Admission free but limited space available.
Please register at:
(Limited to 50 participants.)

Saturday, March 9, 2013
3:00pm to 5:00pm

Select Books
51, Armenian Street
Singapore 179939
Tel: 6337 9319

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Asian Children's Books

These are new children’s books with Asian themes and settings:

Little Monkey King's Journey (In Chinese and English) by Li Jian. Long long ago, an old magic stone suddenly cracked open after lying in the sunlight and moonlight for thousands of years. From the shell of the stone, a little Monkey was born. Adopted by the Monkey King in the mountain, Little Monkey was very naughty and playful. One day, while playing in a tree, he fell. When the Monkey King tried to save Little Monkey, he was terribly injured. To save the Monkey King, Little Monkey had to journey across the ocean in search of the immortal pill. With help from the Immortal Turtle, the Phoenix, the Dragon King and the Immortal, the Little Monkey gained a powerful body. Could he find his way home to save the Monkey King?

Asian Tales: Penpal in Peril and Other Stories. Journey to Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia through the eyes of Singapore's own young authors. The stories explore mature themes like belonging, identity, loss, resilience, courage, love, family and friendship. All written by authors ten to sixteen. Each story is accompanied by illustrations and a short introduction from the author about how he or she was inspired to write the story. Great for inspiring young readers to write their own stories.

His Share of Sky by Rashmi Narzary. Ten-year-old Barsau lives in poverty but is far from being poor. He does not go to a fancy school but learns the best from nature. His domain is not wide, yet the whole earth is his, as he revels in his own adventures under his share of the blue sky above his contented head and the earth under his joyous feet. Unusual and deeply moving, His Share of Sky is a collection of short stories set in a Bodo village on the banks of the river Jwima. The stories, woven around the carefree life of a little tribal Bodo boy, narrate the different situations - sometimes hilarious and at other times poignant - in which he lands himself, along with his two brothers and many friends.

Little Setu and the Forbidden Forest of Ula by Jui Andhare. Innocent and soul-stirring, Little Setu's story travels from the lush green, open meadows of Sundernagari in the Anadaman & Nicobar islands, to the sinister creepiness of the Ula forest, where Setu and his friend Anila, encounter a series of adventures with the species of the forest and the tribal folk of the hidden realm of Shompen. This enchanting story captivates the imagination while sending out a strong message about the conservation of our forests and wildlife.

The Peranakan Princess: A Sherlock Hong Story Two by Don Bosco. It is 1891 in Singapore. Sherlock Hong is 15 years old, working hard on his studies and trying to stay out of trouble. But one day, he hears about a plot to kidnap a girl with a very special talent. He travels into a magical forest in Malacca and discovers the truth about about an astonishing Peranakan legend.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Asian Literature Selection

Recent additions to our fast-expanding Asian Literature section:

Paradise On Earth by Zhu Lin. Paradise on Earth is the deeply moving story of five travelers taking a creative writing expedition through some of China's most scenic landscapes. As these five lonely people make their way from the Fu River running through Sichuan's ancient mountains to the famous Jiuzhaigou Valley, their personal stories unfold and intertwine. A story of lovers and rivals, fathers and daughters, legends and modern history, Paradise on Earth captures the complex and sometimes disturbing experience of a changing society, and stands as a significant addition to the growing body of fiction exploring China's recent past.

Beautiful Days: Two Novellas by Teng Xiaolan. Discover the beauty of everyday life in this two-story collection from China. The first, A Riot of Brilliant Purple and Tender Crimson, examines the disparate love lives of a father and his daughter. Echoing the lyrics in the Kun Opera The Peony Pavilion, this is a brilliantly executed story. Beautiful Days, the title story, is a deceptively simple story of an old woman trying to pick a daughter-in-law for her son, and the difficulties of the task. The novel, focusing on daily subjects, reflects how extraordinary things can be seen in ordinary people and the motions of their lives.

A Woman of Angkor: A Novel by John Burgess. A Woman of Angkor is a powerful work of imagination that takes the reader to a faraway time and place and makes the story vividly real. Through the voice of his heroine, Sray, John Burgess conjures a story of a Khmer family whose lives are interwoven with the building of the magical, mysterious temple of Angkor Wat. This is historical fiction with a difference - about a people whose history has been obscured and abandoned like the magnificent shrine that for so many centuries lay hidden in the jungle.

Asura: Tale of the Vanquished - The Story of Ravana and his People by Anand Neelakantan. The story of the Ramayana had been told innumerable times. The enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ravana, the evil demon of darkness, is known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victors, that lives on. But what if Ravana and his people had a different story to tell? The story of the Ravanayana had never been told. Asura is the epic tale of the vanquished Asura people, a story that has been cherished by the oppressed outcastes of India for 3000 years. Until now, no Asura has dared to tell the tale. You have heard the victor's tale, the Ramayana. Now hear the Ravanayana, for I am Ravana, the Asura, and my story is the tale of the vanquished.

Article 109 by Peter Gregoire. Set in Beijing and Hong Kong, Article 109 is a high-octane, page-turning thriller. A young solicitor, investigating the suicide of his former colleague, unravels a conspiracy to cause chaos on the financial markets by instigating the downfall of one of Asia's richest tycoons. It lifts the lid on Hong Kong's fragile status as an international financial centre and the role it plays in China's unrelenting march towards becoming the most powerful global economic superpower.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Books on China's Economic and Economic Development

Here are several titles that exmaine China’s economy and economic development:

China's Superbank: Debt, Oil, and Influence; How China Development Bank is Rewriting the Rules of Finance by Henry Sanderson and Michael Forsythe. Anyone wanting a primer on the secret of China's economic success need look no further than China Development Bank, which has displaced the World Bank as the world's biggest development bank, lending billions to countries around the globe to further Chinese policy goals. In China's Superbank, Bloomberg authors Michael Forsythe and Henry Sanderson outline how the bank is at the center of China's domestic economic growth and how it is helping to expand China's influence in strategically important overseas markets.

Designated Drivers: How China Plans to Dominate the Global Auto Industry by G. E. Anderson. Anderson, a specialist in finance and Chinese political economics, uses the auto industry to examine how China's industrial planning works, and explores whether state involvement in the economy really is a winning formula for sustainable growth. Bringing to light the strengths and weaknesses that define the Chinese economy, Anderson finds that in some ways the government has become its own worst enemy, unable to choose between industrial competitiveness and social stability. Designated Drivers offers a unique insight into the Chinese economy through the lens of the auto industry, explores how successful the central government has been in spurring economic growth and the long-terms costs of intervention, and uses case studies to illustrate China's explosive growth over the last three decades.

The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that will Disrupt the World by Shaun Rein. The End of Cheap China is a fun, riveting, must-read book not only for people doing business in China but for anyone interested in understanding the forces that are changing the world. Rein puts China's continuing transformation from producer to large-scale consumer - a process that is farther along than most economists think - under the microscope, examining eight megatrends that are catalyzing change in China and posing threats to Americans' consumption-driven way of life. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of China's transformation, from fast-improving Chinese companies to confident, optimistic Chinese women to the role of China's government, and at the end breaks down key lessons for readers to take away.

Inside the Chinese Mind: A Guide on How the Chinese Think by Geoff Baker and Helen Zhang. Co-authored by two "China Insiders"-one Western; the other, Chinese-both veteran business executives who have been working in China for over 25 years, this focuses on how the Chinese think conceptually, culturally, and practically, and how this relates and applies to contemporary China. The book is built around a central, balanced theme-to decipher why the Chinese behave in a certain manner when it comes to business dealings and working with foreigners.

From the Great Wall to the New World: China and Latin America in the 21st Century edited by Julia Strauss and Ariel Armony. Analysis of China-Latin America relations is usually dominated by policy analysis in political economy, defense strategy and bi-lateral relations. While integrating these topics, this volume also engages notions of 'going out' and 'arriving in' as metaphors to characterize a wide range of 'new' interactions between China and Latin America: transnational flows of capital and people, adaptation in industrial production and mining, the fluidity of perceptions between China and Latin America, stereotypes and 'othering' of Latin America within China, and changing rhetorical assumptions of the leadership for the China-Latin America relationship.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Books on Healthcare Issues in Asia

These are recent titles on healthcare issues in Asia:

Vietnamese Health Care System in Change: A Policy Network Analysis of a Southeast Asian Welfare Regime by Kerstin Priwitzer. Within the last 20 years a large-scale bottom-up privatization has taken place in Vietnam, changing and dismantling the public health care system. This process has led to severe tensions inherent in the transitional society of Vietnam between equity and access to health care support especially for the poor, elderly, migrants, and ethnic minorities on the one hand, and its efficiency on the other hand. The book traces the reform efforts to modernize the health care system by the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Vietnamese government. The author bases her findings on little known primary literature and interviews with key stakeholders of the policy network involved in the reform of the health care system, thereby painting an authentic atmospheric picture of the profound changes in the health care system in Vietnam.

Global Movements, Local Concerns: Medicine and Health in Southeast Asia by Laurence Monnais and Harold J. Cook. The development of medicine in Southeast Asia over the past two centuries has not been a simple imposition of European scientific medicine, but a complex and negotiated process that drew on Southeast Asian health experts, local medical traditions, and changing national and popular expectations. The contributors to this volume show how the practices of health in Southeast Asia over the past two centuries were mediated by local medical traditions, colonial interests, governments and policies, international interventions, and by a wide range of health agents and intermediaries. Their findings call into question many of the claims based on medicalization and biopolitics that treat change as a process of rupture. While governments, both colonial and national, instituted policies that affected large numbers of people, much health care remained rooted in a more interactive and locally-mediated experience, in which tradition, adaptation and hybridization is as important as innovation and conflict. "Semi-subaltern" Western-trained doctors and varied traditional healers, many of them women, were among the cultural brokers involved in the building of healthcare systems, and helped circulate mixed practices and ideas about medicine and health even as they found their place in new professional and social hierarchies in an era of globalization.

Singapore's Ageing Population: Managing Health Care and End-Of-Life Decisions by Chan Wing-Cheong. A rapidly ageing population is the most significant demographic issue confronting Singapore in our lifetime. This has created new and increasing demands on Singapore's healthcare system and on the families of the older adults. The challenge is in providing a system of care that is humane, effective and sustainable financially. This requires coordination between state funded providers, the family and the community. This book offers a multi-disciplinary perspective by researchers from various disciplines such as medicine, sociology, anthropology and law on managing healthcare and end-of-life decisions in Singapore. Providing information and suggestions for better policy formulation towards the aged, this book is an invaluable resource for policy makers, service practitioners and scholars working on Asian gerontology. Indexed.

Frameworks of Choice: Predictive and Genetic Testing in Asia by Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner. This is the first comparative study of predictive and genetic testing in Asia in the English language. It explores genetic and predictive testing in relation to political and social institutions such as education, healthcare, research regulation and genetic governance. It is a unique study of genomic policy-making, grounded in empirical fieldwork in China, Japan, India and Sri Lanka. The volume presents original theoretical analyses of the cultural and political dimensions of predictive and genetic testing by analysing the social, cultural, political and economic environment of choices that people have before and after they undergo a genetic or predictive test. With bibliography and index.

Biomedical Ethics and the Church: An Introduction by Roland Chia. An introductory exploration of Christian perspectives on issues of bioethics which increasingly face individuals, medical practitioners and researchers, administrators and makers of public policy as well as pastoral counsellors. Part 1 explores theological foundations for bioethics. Part 2 looks at current issues in healthcare, life and death decisions, human genetics and research of various kinds and Part 3 considers bioethics and the role of the Church including in public ethics.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Books on Singapore's Heritage

These are selected titles from our comprehensive collection of books on Singapore’s heritage:

Our Gurkhas: Singapore through their Eyes by Zakaria Zainal. The Singapore Gurkha Contingent was formed in 1949 and remains an integral and respected part of Singapore's security system. The Gurkha families form a self-contained community within Singapore and return to Nepal after their years of service. Here are photographs of some 40 retired guards who speak from Nepal of some of their memories of the changes and upheavals in the Republic's earlier years.

Exhibition Catalogue on Syonan Years. This volume, in Chinese, accompanied an exhibition at the old Ford Factory, now known as Memories at Old Ford Factory, telling the story of what daily life was like during the Occupation. Anchored primarily on oral history accounts that were collected since 1980s, the exhibition depicts the changes and their impact of the Occupation on daily life, and people's reactions to them.

The Causeway. This coffee-table album, produced jointly by the National Archives of Malaysia and Singapore, illuminates the background, construction and roles played by the Singapore-Johore Causeway since its 1924 opening. Maps, plans, records, memories and photographs from personal and archival sources trace the long planning and negotiations which preceded the Causeway's construction and its 1924 official opening of the rail and road interchange. Highlighted are the Causeway's impact on the area's multilateral development and its role in WWII when it formed a route for the withdrawal of British troops who then blew it up on 31 January 1942. Photographs show the Causeway's reestablishment following WWII and the vast constructions and extensions of the checkpoints built at both ends following the 1965 Separation of Malaysia and Singapore and the 1967 introduction of separate Immigration Controls. With illustrations, glossary and index.

Singapore through 19th Century Prints & Paintings by Wong Hong Suen and Roxana Waterson. A selection of topographic prints of places such as the harbour, Singapore River, Fort Canning Hill, as well as paintings of the cosmopolitan trade town and of tranquil rural scenes, the views presented in Singapore Through 19th Century Prints and Paintings show the colonial port-city in its first century and constitute a historically significant source of information on Singapore's early development. Often published in Europe and America in the accounts of scientific voyages, in travel books and in bound folios, these works portray the experiences of 19th century travellers, reflecting their individual impressions, experiences, prejudices and insights. Descriptions of the settlement by travellers and early settlers, in addition to detailed captions and two lively essays from experts, reveal European impressions of Singapore in early 19th century, as well as the fertile environment in which these paintings and prints were produced and marketed, fuelled by a burgeoning travel industry. Information on the background of the artists, lithographers and publishers and the evolution of techniques will offer fresh insights on the production and commercialisation of prints and painting as well as Singapore's central role in this industry. Often distinguished by exceptional detail, the images in Singapore Through 19th Century Prints and Paintings create an intriguing visual record, offering some of the oldest, rarest and most vibrant glimpses of Singapore.

Wartime Kitchen: Food And Eating in Singapore 1942-1950 by Wong Hong Suen. A wide range of photographs, diaries, cartoons, interviews, autobiographies, press cuttings and archival records has been used in this vivid account of Singapore's eating and food production in 1942-1950, a period of severe hardships and food shortages. Twenty illustrated recipes of the period are also included. Bibliography.