Culture & People

Featured Titles
Cross-Cultural Exchange And The Colonial Imaginary: Global Encounters Via Southeast AsiaCross-Cultural Exchange And The Colonial Imaginary: Global Encounters Via Southeast Asia by Hahn, H. Hazel (Ed.)

For years, the study of how culture operates in colonial contexts was dominated by the ideas of transmission and influence. Yet the more we learn, the less useful those concepts seem to be. This collection deliberately complicates the binary of colonizer and colonized in order to establish a more effective framework for understanding. The contributors address a wide range of questions, rooted in specific colonial experiences: How can a controversy about forms of deference in Java reveal tensions around colonial policies and the rise of nationalism? What was Vietnamese about the French colonial governor's palace in Hanoi? What can the circulation of jazz in Asia tell us about its evolution, circuits of exchange, colonial culture, and its appropriation? Through such inquiries, the volume traces the multilinear trajectories of the flow of decorative objects, architectural styles, photographs, sartorial practices, music, deference rituals, and ethnographic knowledge, in a transimperial framework within and beyond Southeast Asia and Europe. Highlighting a wide range of actors along with their motivations and interactions, this volume treats cultural heritage as dynamic processes.

Hong Kong Letters, TheHong Kong Letters, The by Shaddick, Gill

Gill Shaddick (nee Stevenson) left Britain aged 21 to take up a job in Hong Kong. She travelled from England on the Trans-Siberian Railway and then by Russian boat down the China coast to Hong Kong. In this spirited memoir, Gill recreates a Hong Kong of the imagination. Unexpected twists and a host of funny, bizarre and whimsical events are captured in her lyrical memoir. Carefully bundled and tied together with ribbon, Gill's letters from Hong Kong had remained untouched for nearly 50 years.

Forty NightsForty Nights by Thrall, Chris

Former commando Chris Thrall returned from a year in Hong Kong suffering severe psychosis from crystal meth addiction. The medical profession said recovery was unlikely and recommended admitting him to a psychiatric hospital. Chris refused all intervention and his life descended into a chaotic cycle of drug use that almost killed him…until salvation came in a surprising form. In this long-awaited follow-up to Eating Smoke, Chris tells a harrowing yet refreshing and often hilarious account of addiction and one gutsy journey to recovery.

King's Chinese, The: From Barber To Banker, The Story Of Yeap Chor Ee And The Straits ChineseKing's Chinese, The: From Barber To Banker, The Story Of Yeap Chor Ee And The Straits Chinese by Yeap, Daryl

The King's Chinese is an important book that fills in much of the tapestry and colour of early history of family and business in Penang, Malaya and Indonesia. Daryl Yeap writes with a keen eye for detail to weave the rise of a penniless immigrant barber who rose through sheer wits and ability to become one of the most successful tycoons in Asia. The stories of the tumultuous age of boom, bust, war and independence are brought alive through the intertwined careers of Yeap Chor Ee and his Javanese business partner and in-law Oei Tiong Ham.

He Saved Thousands: The Story Of Dr Jmj SupramaniamHe Saved Thousands: The Story Of Dr Jmj Supramaniam by Naleeza Ebrahim; Paul Supramaniam

He lost his mother when he was two and his father when he was 15. His leg was injured during the Japanese bombardment of Singapore and doctors almost amputated it. His medical studies were halted when the Japanese ruled Singapore. Despite such daunting circumstances, Dr James Mark Jeyasebasingam Supramaniam (popularly known as Dr JMJ) prevailed to emerge at the forefront of Singapore's medical service during its nation-building phase. This book traces the inspiring life of Dr JMJ within the larger context of the evolution of Singapore, from the 1800s when his older family members arrived on its shores, to the creation of the Singaporean nation during the 1950s and 1960s, in which JMJ played a pivotal part.

Xin Ke: The Story Of Singapore And Malaya's First Feature Film (Xin Ke: Xin Ma Shou Bu Chang Pian Dian Ying De Gu ShiXin Ke: The Story Of Singapore And Malaya's First Feature Film (Xin Ke: Xin Ma Shou Bu Chang Pian Dian Ying De Gu Shi by Ng Uhde, Yvonne; Jan Uhde

In 1926, an enterprising young man enthusiastically brought into Singapore the idea of showcasing the life of the people in British Malaya - by way of a movie. His name was Liu Beijin. The uncle of the eminent local artist Liu Kang, the former Muar resident set up an office in Chinatown and a film studio in Katong, hired his crew and cast members, and began production. The result was Xin Ke, a full-length silent film, released in 1927, about a young Chinese immigrant who seeks his fortunes in Malaya. Assisted by his wealthy Peranakan relatives, he eventually finds a job in Singapore - and a girl he loves. In this bilingual book, film researchers Jan Uhde, Yvonne Ng Uhde and Toh Hun Ping travel back in time to the beginning of film production in Singapore. Reproducing the original movie script in full, accompanied by finely drawn illustrations by Dan Wong, this book is a much-needed addition to our film industry's collective memory.

Doing Right By PeopleDoing Right By People by Loh Meng See

HR expert Loh Meng See shares his insights into the all-important field of people management, drawing on his wealth of experience at top companies Keppel Corporation and Singapore Airlines, and as a former Member of Parliament. Against the backdrop of the social and economic history of Singapore, readers are given a front row seat to how Loh rode out painful situations such as retrenchments during economic recessions and tensions between management and unions, as well as key events such as the SARS crisis and SQ006 crash. A must-read for business managers, human resources professionals, and any student of human nature.

Loss AdjustmentLoss Adjustment by Collins, Linda

Loss Adjustment is a mother's recount of her 17-year-old daughter's suicide. In the wake of Victoria McLeod 's passing, she left behind a remarkable journal in her laptop of the final four months of her life. Linda Collins, her mother, has woven these into her memoir, which is at once cohesive, yet fragmented, reflecting a survivor's state of mind after devastating loss. Loss Adjustment involves the endless whys, the journey of Linda Collins and her husband in honouring Victoria, and the impossible question of what drove their daughter to this irretrievable act.

Birthday Book, The: Narratives, Undiscovered And UnderwayBirthday Book, The: Narratives, Undiscovered And Underway by Chung, Cheryl; Vieshaalan Naidu & A. Maniam (Eds.)

Contributors to the 2019 edition of The Birthday Book reflect on the narratives of their lives: the stories that define them, their communities, the causes they champion, and Singapore's collective future. The 54 essays in the book are diverse; some touch on deeply personal issues while others tackle broader trends. Yet in the deeply personal we find the seeds of more universal issues, while in the trends we can discern the outlines of more individualised stories. Like the Singapore that each essay celebrates, this book dances between micro and macro worlds.

Zai Jian Da Tang, Fan Dui Sha Wen: Chen Youbing, Yi Ge Jian She Dong Xi Fang Yi Shu De RenZai Jian Da Tang, Fan Dui Sha Wen: Chen Youbing, Yi Ge Jian She Dong Xi Fang Yi Shu De Ren by Wu Hexing

Written in traditional Chinese, this is the only biography book of Singaporean artist Tan Oe Pang (b.1947) published to date. Tracing Tan's journey from his fond childhood memories at the Bali Lane, it tells the stories, events and experiences that have shaped his life and work. The biography chronicles Tan's important achievements and recounts his journey to becoming a full-time art practitioner, including his tutelage under the influential Chinese ink master, Fan Chang Tien.

We Adopted! A Collection Of Dog Rescue TalesWe Adopted! A Collection Of Dog Rescue Tales by Boey, Daniel

We Adopted is an anthology of modern, real life fairy tales of doggie salvation. It features some of the most incredible comeback stories, tales of resilience, forgiveness, trust, love, human cruelty, greed and miracle rebounds, dogs on the brink of death and the owners who never gave up on them. The stories are accompanied by stunning editorial fashion spreads. No one would ever guess that these beautiful canine models were once abused, neglected, crippled or abandoned.

Story Of Bentong Kali, The: Crime And Society In 90'S Kuala LumpurStory Of Bentong Kali, The: Crime And Society In 90'S Kuala Lumpur by Suganthi Suparmaniam

The Story of Bentong Kali details the rise and fall of one of Malaysia's most notorious gangsters Kalimuthu a/l Pakirisamy, better known as Bentong Kali, who terrorised the nation in the early 1990s. On the front of every newspaper, he was believed to be behind at least 16 murders and attempted murders before being killed by police. Written by journalist Suganthi Suparmaniam, this book traces Kalimuthu's journey from his poor childhood in Bentong, Pahang to the streets of KL where he became involved in the drugs trade and protection work before forming his own gang and amassing around him a group of loyal followers. It tells the story not only of one gangster but also of a rapidly developing society coming to terms with problems of crime, drugs and economic insecurity.

Shanks, Yanks And Jurgen: The Men Behind Liverpool's Rise, Slip And Rise AgainShanks, Yanks And Jurgen: The Men Behind Liverpool's Rise, Slip And Rise Again by Homes, Bob

Born in poverty, one of 10 children, Bill Shankly went to work in a coal mine at 14. A no-nonsense wing-half, he won 6 Scotland caps. As a manager and a socialist, he emphasised teamwork and forged a unique bond between players and fans. He called it the Liverpool Way and with it, the Reds would rule Europe. After initially building on his success, Liverpool, wounded by tragedies and tricked by con men, eventually lost their way. But now, with a manager in Shanks' mould and astute owners, they have regained their perch. And they've done it by reverting to as many of Shankly's principles as a 21st century corporation allows. There's much about the modern game he would have hated yet a lot about today's Liverpool that he would have liked. As Bob Holmes traces his epic journey from pit village to managerial Mount Rushmore, his 'voice' can be heard throughout. And even 38 years after his death, it is argued that he had a hand in the recovery.

Homeless: The Untold Story Of A Mother's Struggle In Homeless: The Untold Story Of A Mother's Struggle In "Crazy Rich" Singapore by Liyana Dhamirah

Ten years ago, Liyana Dhamirah was in a precarious situation: at 22, she was heavily pregnant and had no place to call home. For Liyana, home was often unstable. Once a bright teenager full of optimism, she faced uncertainty and found no support from family, government agencies and welfare groups. She had nowhere to go, no one to turn to. When she started living on a beach in Sembawang, she discovered a community of people - families - who were homeless just like her. They stuck together and watched out for each other, even when there were raids. She learned that in prosperous Singapore, the homeless are not always identifiable by appearance alone. Months later, journalists eventually uncovered Liyana's story and how she navigated a bureaucracy of obstacles. Today she is a successful entrepreneur and this is her memoir.

Hard At Work: Life In SingaporeHard At Work: Life In Singapore by Sasges, Gerard; Ng Shi Wen (Eds.)

For most people in Singapore, having a job is just a fact of life. But that simple fact encompasses a wide range of experiences. Have you ever really considered what workers do on a daily basis and how they feel about their jobs? Hard at Work gives us access into the interior lives and experiences of more than fifty Singapore workers. It forms a snapshot of Singapore's working population that will fascinate contemporary and future readers.

This Could Be Home: Raffles Hotel And The City Of TomorrowThis Could Be Home: Raffles Hotel And The City Of Tomorrow by Iyer, Pico

No hotel is as inseparably linked to its city than Raffles Hotel, writes Pico Iyer, arguably the world's greatest travel writer alive. Drawing upon numerous stays in Raffles over 35 years and the fast-ascending city all around it, Iyer - a lifelong global soul - reflects on the "Grand Old Lady's" literary legacy and its mark on writers everywhere. In the process, he finds new ways of considering not just yesterday, but tomorrow. How have Singapore and its white-stucco monument evolved to meet the needs of a shifting world? In this compact volume, Iyer pulls back the curtains on a personal, thoughtful and surprising look at places we too often take for granted.

50 Best Kept Secrets Of The Istana: People And Places50 Best Kept Secrets Of The Istana: People And Places by Wong Sher Maine

Discover 50 little-known facts about Istana, the place previously known as Government House, from its building completion in 1869 to when Singapore achieved self-government in 1959. In People and Places, learn about the landmarks within the Istana domain, rooms inside the Main Building, as well as the staff members and honourable visitors who have left indelible marks at the Istana. Structured as a general knowledge guide to the Istana, People and Places has a contemporary narrative mirroring the time period covered by the book (1959 to today), with a focus on the rooms and landmarks of the domain, distinguished guests who have visited and outstanding staff members who maintain the domain.

Great Leaps: Finding Home In A Changing ChinaGreat Leaps: Finding Home In A Changing China by Flahive, Colin Thomas

In Great Leaps, Colin Flahive explores China's rural-urban migration against the backdrop of his own transition from Colorado to southwest China. There, in Yunnan province, he partnered with three friends to open a cafe that became much more than simply an outpost of Western cuisine in a far-flung corner of the world. Over the course of a decade, Salvador's Coffee House became home to more than 50 young women from mountain villages in the surrounding countryside. Most knew nothing about coffee or Western food, but they moved to the city to work at Salvador's and earn their independence. Great Leaps follows the challenges faced by Colin, his partners and his employees as they leave their old lives behind to make a new home in a foreign land. They encounter unlikely successes, endure heartbreaks and nearly lose everything. But by taking the leap together, they all find their own places in the modern Chinese dream.

Thailand's Movie Theatres: Relics, Ruins And The Romance Of EscapeThailand's Movie Theatres: Relics, Ruins And The Romance Of Escape by Jablon, Philip

In the 1950s and 1960s, movie theatres across Thailand were important architectural statements and centres of social and cultural life. At a time when few houses had electricity, the local movie theatre was where people came together, irrespective of class or occupation. In today's era of shopping-mall multiplexes and movies streamed on personal devices, the popularity of the standalone cinema has become a thing of legend; few remember the once-familiar scenes of overflowing crowds spilling out onto the streets or frantic ticket buyers thrusting fists full of cash through small ticket windows.