Culture & People

Featured Titles
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.

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.

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.

M Kula: From Estate To CabinetM Kula: From Estate To Cabinet by M Kula Segaran

This is a rags to riches story of an estate boy whose determination to avert the limited prospects of people of his background led him to make good at his profession and go on to pursue a political career which led him to the top of Malaysian politics. From Estate to Cabinet is M. Kula's chronicle of his rise from an underprivileged existence to national prominence as a lawyer and politician, up to the beginning of Malaysia's 14th General Election. It's a story Malaysians will find interesting for they can easily identify with the episodes and experiences described in the book. As Lim Kit Siang says in the foreword, Kula's life is "quintessentially Malaysian" because it is a product of the Malaysian dream.

Pattaya UndercoverPattaya Undercover by Ewe Paik Leong

Promising sun, sea, sand and more, Pattaya beach resort in Thailand lures eight million foreign tourists annually. However, behind the glitter lurks broken dreams, ethereal ecstasy and, often, tragedy. And behind every bargirl's smile and every foreigner's beer glass lurks a story: happy, touching, heart-wrenching. The author interviews bargirls, mamasans and customers, who reveal true stories of sex scams, doomed relationships and tragic suicides. The author's investigation takes him to the capital, Bangkok, as well as to an Isaan village in northeastern Thailand, and further afield to Saigon in Vietnam and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Tales Of Southeast Asia's Jazz Age: Filipinos, Indonesians And Popular Culture, 1920-1936Tales Of Southeast Asia's Jazz Age: Filipinos, Indonesians And Popular Culture, 1920-1936 by Keppy, Peter

Luis Borromeo was the Philippines's "King of Jazz," who at the height of his popularity created a Filipino answer to the Ziegfeld Follies. Miss Riboet was a world-famous Javanese opera singer who ruled the theater world. While each represented a unique corner of the entertainment world, the rise and fall of these two superstar figures tell an important story of Southeast Asia's 1920s Jazz Age. Leaning on cultural studies and the work on cosmopolitanism and modernity by Henry Jenkins and Joel Kahn, Peter Keppy examines pop culture at this time as a contradictory social phenomenon. He challenges notions of Southeast Asia's popular culture as lowbrow entertainment created by elites and commerce to manipulate the masses, arguing instead that audiences seized on this popular culture to channel emancipatory activities, to articulate social critique, and to propagate an inclusive nationalism without being radically anticolonial.

Wayang And Its Doubles: Javanese Puppet Theatre, Television And The InternetWayang And Its Doubles: Javanese Puppet Theatre, Television And The Internet by Mrazek, Jan

Wayang, or Javanese puppet theater, has been around for millennia. Television has been around for decades. The two formats seem like disparate pieces yet they are both intensely part of the Javanese world. They are inescapable from each other in a relationship that has been described as a "difficult marriage": intimate on the one hand, deeply alienating on the other, institutionalized yet at the same time mercurial and shifting. This book explores the ways two complex forms of media coexist and meet as well as haunt and invade each other. It looks at performance aesthetics and the technicalities of television production, as well as issues of time, space, light, place, and movement. It compares audience experiences of live and televised performances, and highlights the collaboration and struggle between performers and television producers.

Under Red Skies: The Life And Times Of A Chinese MillennialUnder Red Skies: The Life And Times Of A Chinese Millennial by Kan, Karoline

Karoline Kan was born in 1989, the year of the Tiananmen Square massacre: her generation has always been caught between China's authoritarian politics and its hyper-modern technology and economic boom. In her quest to understand the shifting sands of global, connected China, Karoline turns to her family, who have survived Maoism and its legacy by breaking with tradition. Navigating a society beset by poverty and often violent political unrest, the Kans swapped rural villages for crowded city streets in search of a better way of life. Now a journalist, Kan recounts gripping tales of her grandmother, who struggled to help her family through the Great Famine; of her mother, who defied the One-Child Policy by giving birth to Karoline; and of her cousin, a factory worker scraping by on less than £1 per hour. An ambitious millennial pursuing her career and personal life in a time of dizzyingly rapid social change, Kan discovers her own story's roots in the China of previous generations.

British Serial Killer In Singapore, A: A True StoryBritish Serial Killer In Singapore, A: A True Story by Tan Ooi Boon

This is the true story of a man who went on a world tour to hunt his victims with a sinister skill. Body parts murderer John Martin, who was trained in butchery, was the first serial killer to be convicted in Singapore. His modus operandi was to first bash his victims with a hammer and then cut up their bodies at the joints with a small knife. He could have gone scot-free but for underestimating the mettle of his foe - the Singapore Police Force. Also included is an epilogue where the author re-imagines how a similar case would pan out if it happens today.

Reluctant Editor: The Singapore Media As Seen Through The Eyes If A Veteran Newspaper JournalistReluctant Editor: The Singapore Media As Seen Through The Eyes If A Veteran Newspaper Journalist by Balji, P N

These are the hitherto unpublished stories about the stories that you may have read in Singapore newspapers over the years. PN Balji was an active participant in mainstream journalism, having spent nearly 40 years working in five newsrooms. He was part of a hardy generation of newspaper editors who wrestled with editorial issues and made tough decisions, sometimes against the will of Lee Kuan Yew. He also had a ringside view of his colleagues' tussles and confrontations with the government. In Reluctant Editor, Balji weaves a compelling narrative, with anecdotes, of an alternative story of how some editors of his generation managed to hold the ground when Lee was at his rogue best.

Chinese Entrepreneurship In Singapore History, Faith & CultureChinese Entrepreneurship In Singapore History, Faith & Culture by Lim, Clive

What cultural factors lie behind Chinese entrepreneurship, especially among the Singaporean Chinese community? What is the place of the Chinese work ethic in the light of biblical Christian values? Do these ideologies clash, or, what common ground do they share? This book aims to tackle these questions with a close look at Chinese history and culture, as well as the theological basis of entrepreneurship. Case studies of 12 contemporary Singaporean Chinese entrepreneurs provide hands-on perspectives of the challenges of taking the entrepreneurial plunge.