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.
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.
Notes on Contributors
Angelia Poon and Angus Whitehead
Chapter One: 'we who have no country but our century': Wong May, Singapore-stateless Poet
Chapter Two: 'A Kind of Pursuit': On Boey Kim Cheng's Poetry
Chapter Three: Writing Urban Psychogeography: A Luxury We Cannot Afford and the Poetry of Yong Shu Hoong, Toh Hsien Min and Boey Kim Cheng
Chapter Four: A City Without a Nation: Personal and Collective Memory in the Fiction of Gopal Baratham
Chapter Five: The Social Life of Genres: Short Stories as a Singapore Form
Chapter Six: Of Language and Beyond: Enoch Ng Kwang Cheng, firstfruits, and Singapore Literature
Chapter Seven: Singaporean Literature and Global Modernism: Wang Gungwu, Lloyd Fernando, Lydia Kwa
Chapter Eight: 'Leeet lor': Singapore Plays as Drama
Chapter Nine: Super-Diversity and its Implications in Two Singapore Texts
Sim Wai Chew
Chapter Ten: Strangers, Surrogates, Lovers: Foreign Domestic Workers in Contemporary Singapore Texts
Chapter Eleven: In Praise of Failed Men (and the Woman Writer): Gender Politics in the Singapore Novel
Chapter Twelve: Singapore as Strategic Location: Setting and Positionality in Goh Poh Seng's If We Dream Too Long and Lydia Kwa's Pulse
Cheryl Narumi Naruse
Chapter Thirteen: Burning in Your Hands: Singapore's Queer Literary Tradition