Thursday, November 28, 2013

Event: Book-reading and Meet-the-Author Event with Audrey Chin, author of As the Heart Bones Break

Select Books is pleased to invite you to a book-reading and meet-the-author event with Audrey Chin, author of As the Heart Bones Break, on Saturday, 14 December 2013, at 2:00pm.

About As the Heart Bones Break
In Thong Tran’s Vietnam, everyone is at war and no one is who they seem. But even a conflicted heart needs a home. Yearning for a true father and a cause to give himself to, Thong chooses independence, liberty and happiness – his tutor and the Viet Cong. It is a choice with karmic consequences he will spend the next half century criss-crossing the Pacific to outrun.

Can Thong set down the bones rankling in his heart? And at what cost?

About Audrey Chin
Audrey Chin works with numbers as a financial steward by day and with words at night. Her mission is to tell the Southeast Asian story to an international audience from the point-of-view of a multi-cultural Peranakan woman in Singapore. Her debut novel, Learning to Fly, was a coming-of-age story set in the rainforests of the region. She is contributing co-editor of Singapore Women Re-Presented, which tells Singapore’s social history from the perspective of Singaporean women.

Audrey is married to Minh and has been a daughter-in-law of the Vietnamese diaspora for thirty years. As the Heart Bones Break is distilled from the many diasporic stories she heard over that period. Find out more at

Saturday, 14th December 2013, 2:00pm

Select Books
51 Armenian Street, Singapore 179939
Tel: (65) 6337 9319

Monday, November 25, 2013

Event: Book launch of A Crowd of Twisted Things by Dawn Farnham

Photographs from the book launch of A Crowd of Twisted Things by Dawn Farnham on Saturday, 23 November, 2013, at 3:00pm. 

Event: Talk and Book Reading on the Balik Kampung series of short story anthologies with Verena Tay, Gwee Li Sui, Joshua Ip and Ann Ang

Select Books is pleased to invite you to a Talk and Book Reading on the Balik Kampung series of short story anthologies with Verena Tay, Gwee Li Sui, Joshua Ip and Ann Ang on Saturday, November 30 2013 at 2:30pm.

Perspectives of Home: The Balik Kampung Stories (2012-2013)
In the Balik Kampung series of short story anthologies published by Math Paper Press, each contributor writes from his/her perspective of having lived in a particular district of Singapore for at least 10 years. 

Come listen to the series editor, Verena Tay, as she shares her experience of curating these stories and highlights the rich social themes emerging from the three books thus far. 

Also present will be Gwee Li Sui, Joshua Ip and Ann Ang who will read from their respective Balik Kampung stories.

About the Speakers
After twenty-five years of theatre-making and three published collections of plays, Verena Tay ( now deals with fiction. During 2012, she edited the original Balik Kampung anthology and A Monsoon Feast, as well as published her first collection of short stories, Spectre: Stories from Dark to Light. In 2013, she edited Balik Kampung 2A: People and Places and Balik Kampung 2B: Contemplations.

Gwee Li Sui writes essays, poems, comics, and now stories. He published Singapore’s first comic-book novel, Myth of the Stone, in 1993  (which has just been re-published in 2013) and a volume of humorous verse, Who Wants to Buy a Book of Poems?, in 1998. A familiar name in Singapore’s literary scene, he has written articles on a wide range of cultural subjects and edited Sharing Borders: Studies in Contemporary Singaporean-Malaysian Literature II (2009), Telltale: Eleven Stories (2010), and Man/Born/Free: Writings on the Human Spirit from Singapore (2011).

Joshua Ip’s first poetry collection, sonnets from the singlish, was published by Math Paper Press in 2012. His second collection, making love with scrabble tiles, has just been released in 2013. His work has appeared in numerous online journals and print anthologies including No Other City (Ethos Books, 2000), onewinged (Creative Arts Programme Alumni, 2001) and Peregrine (University of Pennsylvania, 2006).

Ann Ang’s poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Eclectica Magazine, Quarterly Literary Review of Singapore, Poskod, Kartika Review, The Common and elsewhere. Her first collection of short stories, Bang My Car (Math Paper Press, 2012), was launched at the Singapore Writers’ Festival 2012. An avid birdwatcher, she is an educator with the Academy of Singapore Teachers.

Saturday, 30th November 2013, 2:30pm

Select Books, 51 Armenian Street, Singapore 179939
Tel: (65) 6337 9319

Friday, November 15, 2013

Event: Meet-the-Author - Ian Burnet, author of East Indies and Spice Islands, on Saturday, 9 November 2013 at 3:00pm.

Photos from the Meet-the-Author event with Ian Burnet, author of East Indies and Spice Islands, on Saturday, 9 November 2013 at 3:00pm.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Event: Book Launch - A Crowd of Twisted Things by Dawn Farnham

Monsoon Books and Select Books are pleased to invite you to the book launch of Dawn Farnham's A Crowd of Twisted Things at 3:00pm, on Saturday, 23 November, 2013.

About A Crowd of Twisted Things
Against the backdrop of this simmering violence, Dawn Farnham tells the story of Annie Collins, a young Eurasian woman, who returns to Singapore seeking her own lost child; a child give away by her Australian husband who, as the Japanese tanks rolled into Singapore in 1942, also attempted to murder her. Repatriated to Australia from a civilian POW camp, her husband dead in the mud of Burma, Annie has spent years fruitlessly writing letters to refugee organisations and government authorities, seeking Suzy, the only thing she has ever loved. 

With the discovery of Maria Hertogh comes hope. She enlists the help of an Australian newsman to uncover the truth about her own child. As the time bomb ticks and the threads of her search lead Annie into increasingly dangerous territory, strange recollections intrude, ones that have nothing to do with her own memories of her wartime experiences; disturbing visions which force her to doubt not just her past life but her whole idea of who she truly is and even to question the search itself. Twisted lives, twisted memories, the twists of fate and their tangled consequences.

In this novel Farnham pursues several themes:

• The Maria Hertogh story and its aftermath from the actual reporting of the time;
• The tales of loss and suffering of the civilian population of Singapore during the Occupation;
• The assumptions we make about our children - do they ever really belong to us? when do we have to let them go?;
• The nature of suppressed memory and self-delusion.

Saturday, 23 November 1013

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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Event: Cock Sing Song Session: A Singlishman in New York - Colin Goh

Photos from the talk and booksigning event with Colin Goh on Friday, November 8, 2013.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Talk by Joan Charlotte Tng Hui Xuan and Lim Ziyi Jean

Photos from the talk by two young photographers, Joan Charlotte Tng Hui Xuan, 15, and Lim Ziyi Jean, 14, on their photo exhibition, entitled Our Silent Community: A Photographic Essay about the Lives of the SPCA's Shelter Workers and Animals, on Friday, November 1,2013.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Postponed: Event: Talk on "Old Books"

The talk has been postponed to Saturday, 11 January 2014, at 3:30pm.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope that you can join us on 7 Dec 13.


What is the value of an old book? How much is a book worth after its contents have been read and absorbed?

Come join other book lovers at Select Books for an afternoon of informal discussion on the theme of "Old Books", on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 2:00pm.

Veteran Singapore writer and educator Robert Yeo and book conservator Alex Teoh will share their knowledge and experiences of book collecting and upkeep. View books from their personal collections, some dating back over a century, that show that the stories behind the books are sometimes as important as the stories in them. Find out more about the tangible and intangible value of old books, even as younger readers continue to migrate to electronic platforms.

Bring your own old books and share your questions and stories!

"Apart from the pleasure of reading, buying a book and later finding it on my bookshelves help me remember the occasion, down to the exact day the book was purchased and where. I remember as clearly, the occasion when I bought the collected poems of Walt Whitman in a Bras Basah bookshop as a schoolboy in 1957, as I do that June in 1967 when i bought the Cantos of Ezra Pound in the famous Oxford bookshop, Blackwells. I still have these books and return to them ever so often, the simple pleasure of reading augmented by the remembrance of buying them." 
— Robert Yeo

About the Speakers

Published poet, playwright and novelist Robert Yeo is an alumni of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa (1978). For more than a decade beginning in 1977, he was Chair of the National Drama Advisory Committee, which helped to develop theatre in Singapore’s four languages. His three connected plays were published in 2001 as The Singapore Triology. In 2009, his second libretto ‘Kannagi’, a short chamber piece based on an Indian epic poem, was staged in Sri Mariamman Temple. His first libretto, a full-length work titled ‘Fences’, was staged in 2012, with John Sharpley as composer.

Alex Teoh is a paper and book conservator, providing restoration and collection care for rare manuscripts, collectible prints, antique maps and antiquarian books. He has been involved in various conservation and exhibitions projects in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Paper and books, being products of nature, deteriorate over time. Causes include light, acidity, pest infestation, mishandling and poor storage conditions. This is accelerated by our warm and humid environment. Alex will share some understanding of the nature of paper and books and some tips on collection care.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Select Books
51, Armenian Street
Singapore 179939

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Select Books Talk Cock Sing Song Session: A Singlishman in New York - Colin Goh

Select Books Talk Cock Sing Song Session
A Singlishman in New York

Since 2011, Select has played host to more than a hundred events involving leading authors, thinkers, artists, activists and newsmakers around the world; from Pankaj Mishra to Isa Kamari, from Ziannuddin Sardar to Constance Singam, from Marina Mahathir to Chee Soon Juan.

This Friday, Select is particularly pleased and honoured to add a special name to the list - satirist, cartoonist and filmmaker Colin Goh - whose humour and thoughts have influenced an entire generation of Singaporeans.

Though based in America for many years, an authentic and immediately identifiable Singapore sensibility runs through all his works, whether these be the comic strip The Concrete Jungle, the website, the feature films Talking Cock and Singapore Dreaming, or the books Coxford Singlish Dictionary and Dim Sum Warriors.

Please join us this Friday evening as Colin reflects on how the Big Apple has shaped his work in the Little Red Dot. As Singaporeans grapple with conceptions of stayers vs goers, cosmopolitans vs heartlanders, and foreign talent vs local talent, come share an interesting evening of talk cock sing song on these and other questions of Singapore identity.

Colin will be pleased to sign his bestselling Coxford Singlish Dictionary and his critically-acclaimed graphic novel series, Dim Sum Warriors. Both books will be available at special discount for the event.

Select Books, 51 Armenian Street

Date and Time
Friday, 8 November, 7:00pm