I’m thrilled to announce that many of the stories on this blog, plus exciting new pieces, are now in my first book, titled ‘Others’ is Not a Race.
This collection is a happy blend of food writing (not one but two pieces about sugee cake; how to make belachan and chinchalok; how Eurasian tea is an actual thing), family memoirs (Eurasian boys spending nights in graveyards was apparently also a thing!) narratives about Eurasian identity and searching for my Eurasian heritage (going to Malacca’s Portuguese Settlement to document my uncle fishing; finally learning my true mother tongue of Kristang; trying to make debal and sugee cake, with hilarious results) and one science fiction story set in a future Singapore, seen through the eyes of a character named Martin Desker. Hmmm.. all that genre mixing, with the end result of something special… sounds a bit like being Eurasian, no? 😉
‘Others’ is Not a Race is published by Singaporean publisher Math Paper Press, headed by the awesome Kenny Leck, who also runs the awesome indie bookstore Books Actually. If you haven’t checked out the store, you really should go. It’s one of the coolest places in Sg. Oh and besides books living there, cats live there too. See if you can find the kitty in one of the pics below, haha.
We’re having the official launch of ‘Others’ is Not a Race at this year’s Singapore Writers Festival. Check out more details on the festival website.
Date: Sun, 5 Nov
Place: The Arts House, Gallery 2 (1 Parliament Lane, S179429)
Come join me as I read excerpts from ‘Others’ is Not a Race, together with fellow writer, Singapore Literature Prize-winner Ng Yi Sheng, who will also be launching his new book of love poetry, Hims. Then there’ll be a Q&A (ask us whatever you like!) and you can get your books signed. And maybe, just maybe, there’ll be sugee cake. And gingerbread men shaped in the form of Yi-Sheng’s ex-lovers. Maybe.
You can buy the books on the day itself at the festival bookstore at The Arts House.
If you can’t make it to the launch, ‘Others’ is Not a Race ($19) is available at Kinokuniya and Books Actually (9 Yong Siak Street, S168645, at Tiong Bahru estate.
Or you can get it online here. They ship globally!
Super pleased and honoured to have already shared excerpts of ‘Others’ is Not a Race with the CAPT Minorities & Languages Reading Group at NUS earlier this week, 17th Oct. It was also my privilege to share a bit about the Eurasian community and Kristang too. They even learned a few Kristang phrases! (Teng bong? Bong pamiang and Yo gostah kumi!) After the talk and reading two of the stories (‘The Gift’ and ‘Meeting with the Sea’) the students had such intelligent and curious questions, including:
Q: What second language do Eurasians take in school?
Q: Did you ever experience discrimination in Singapore as a Eurasian?
Q: As a Eurasian, do you feel displaced [in Singapore]?
It was a real pleasure to discuss some of the issues of Eurasian identity and fitting in to Singaporean society, in the past and today, with these lovely, sensitive young people. And my gratitude goes out to English language lecturer Wong Soon Fen for kindly inviting me as guest speaker!