Culture & People

Featured Titles
17A Keong Saik Road: A Personal Story17A Keong Saik Road: A Personal Story by Leung, Charmaine

17A Keong Saik Road recounts Charmaine Leung's growing-up years on Keong Saik Road in the 1970s when it was a prominent red-light precinct in Chinatown in Singapore. An interweaving of past and present narratives, 17A Keong Saik Road tells of her mother's journey as a young child put up for sale to becoming the madame of a brothel in Keong Saik. Unfolding her story as the daughter of a brothel operator and witnessing these changes to her family, Charmaine traces the transformation of the Keong Saik area from the 1930s to the present, and through writing, finds reconciliation. A beautiful dedication to the past, to memory, and to the people who have gone before us, 17A Keong Saik Road tells the rich stories of the Ma Je, the Pei Pa Zai, and the Dai Gu Liong-marginalised, forgotten women of the past, who despite their difficulties, persevered in working towards the hope of a better future.

Singapore: Country Of Many FacesSingapore: Country Of Many Faces by Lam, Jimmy

This book presents a rich, diverse, complex and vibrant portrait of Singapore and its people beyond the tourist sites and provides an intimate look into the various segments in society today. Lam captures the deep cultural roots of the native Malays and the early Chinese and Indian migrants even as the economic, physical and human landscape was transforming rapidly in this small country. Despite its small land area and short history are since independence, the book shows many faces of Singapore that will surprise and fascinate many. It is an important visual record of the country and its accomplishments over the years.

Life Is A MixtapeLife Is A Mixtape by Low, Ignatius

When Ignatius Low quit his civil service job and joined The Straits Times as a business reporter in 1999, never in his wildest dreams would he have thought that he would end up writing fortnightly personal columns in the Sunday newspaper on music, love, life and his many trivial obsessions. This is a collection of his best columns from over more than a decade, telling the story of a Singapore boy who grew up in the '80s. From pirated cassette compilations to second-hand vinyl records, shady Sim Lim Square shops to Zouk's dancefloor, Ignatius takes readers on a nostalgic tour of familiar memories. He muses about old friends and growing relationships, ponders Singapore society and the meaning of travel - and waxes lyrical about Bras Basah's bookstores, a history of Nokia phones, and the annual Club 21 sale.

Great Lengths: Singapore's Swimming PoolsGreat Lengths: Singapore's Swimming Pools by Lau, Jocelyn; Lucien Low (Eds.)

Every child who is "physically fit" should learn to swim by the time he or she leaves primary school, said Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in the 1970s. Swimming, now practically a national pastime, appeals to young and old, amateurs and elite athletes alike. However, little has been documented about the genesis of our aquatic aspirations and reminiscences: the swimming pool. Evoking nostalgia, Great Lengths: Singapore's Swimming Pools pays tribute with delightful illustrations, lovely old photographs and cherished memories.

Parsis Of Singapore, The: History, Culture, CuisineParsis Of Singapore, The: History, Culture, Cuisine by Kanga, Suna; Subina Khaneja

When Suna first moved to Singapore, there were barely forty Parsis; today there are well-over 350 Parsis in the country. During her four decade-long stay in Singapore, she was often asked, "Who are the Parsis?" This sparked the idea for a book to highlight the distinctive culture and cuisine of a notable but diminishing Indian community that settled in Singapore in the 1800s. The Parsis of Singapore: Heritage, Culture, Cuisine documents the history and heritage of this unique community.

Sam: A Mother's Journey Of FaithSam: A Mother's Journey Of Faith by Lim Soo Hoon

Monday, 6 September 2004, turned out to be one of the most harrowing days for our family. So begins Lim Soo Hoon's journey as she discovers that her elder son, Sam, is suffering from Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system. Over the course of two years, amidst numerous trips to the hospital and the everyday details of Sam's treatment, Soo Hoon wrote a fiercely honest series of updates to family and friends, chronicling her struggles and deepest fears. This book is a story of unexpected blessings and small mercies, of how faith can sustain us when hope seems most unlikely, and is a testament to the redeeming power of personal belief and familial love. Sam: A Mother's Journey of Faith was first published in 2006 and reprinted twice in that year. This edition contains a 2017 preface by the author and an update on Sam, who is now a trained teacher in a secondary school, teaching English Literature and English. All royalties from the book go to the Singapore Cancer Society.

Making Sense Of Life @ / & Smu: A Partial Guide For The CluelessMaking Sense Of Life @ / & Smu: A Partial Guide For The Clueless by Pang Eng Fong (Ed.)

This extraordinary volume provides unexpectedly heart-warming and heart-breaking insights into the interior lives and thoughts of SMU business graduates. It is both a paean to and an indictment of Singapore's education system and its excessively powerful formative impact on individual lives, family relationships, and Singapore society as a whole. Their intensely personal reflections, unleavened by humour, lay bare the contradictory liberating and homogenising effects of an undergraduate business education (not peculiar to SMU or Singapore only), while refreshingly engaging the too-often-taboo topics of race, religion, sexual orientation and social class.

Europe In The RenaissanceEurope In The Renaissance by Aikema, Bernard; Peter Burke Et Al.

The Renaissance experienced some of the most important advances in human history. All the discoveries and creations would have been unimaginable without cultural exchange. The Renaissance was an era of dialogue and new horizons in thinking over great distances and time. Based on numerous examples - works of art, instruments and everyday objects - this substantial publication invites readers to trace the various paths of transference. Renowned authors take us to antiquity and the Orient, to Italy and through half of Europe.

Malaysians And Their IdentitiesMalaysians And Their Identities by Yeoh Seng Guan (Ed.)

Malaysians and their Identities presents a kaleidoscope of insights based on original empirical research by young Malaysian scholars. Among others, their topics cover festive TV advertisements, connoisseur café culture, the smartphone, online sports gaming, Islamic fashion, women indie musicians, men's health magazines, inter-racial marriages, and friendships in private universities. These chapters show the variety of everyday identity-making in Malaysia, and how these actions are also entangled with wider social, economic and technological processes in the world.

Shaped For A Purpose: Finding Beauty In BrokennessShaped For A Purpose: Finding Beauty In Brokenness by Loh, Sherena; Pauline Loh

Meet Sherena Loh. Sherena has Muscular Dystrophy, a debilitating disease in which the muscles progressively weaken. Doctors told her that she would only live until 25 years old. But many years later, Sherena is still alive - and living a full life. She rose above her circumstances and did all the things she never imagined she would be able to do - she graduated with a degree and various diplomas, found fulfilling jobs and even got married. She also helped set up the Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore) (MDAS) and currently serves as its Executive Director, dedicating her life to helping other persons with Muscular Dystrophy find purpose beyond their limits. How did she do it? This book is not meant for people with disabilities and their caregivers alone, but for every one of us who has experienced adversity. Read about hoer Sherena developed a positive mindset that helped her conquer her physical, social and psychological struggles - and be inspired to conquer your own mountains.

Onstage Offstage by Lee, Bob

The getai is a live stage performance held each year during the Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore and Malaysia. It forms an integral part of the month-long festival: local Chinese would burn incense paper to appease the spirits and performances would be held at various neighborhoods. In the past, performances were Chinese opera or puppet shows but have since evolved into a kitschy and gaudy combination of songs, dance and stand-up comedy. In Onstage Offstage, Lee questions the longevity of these performances, how long would it be before it becomes just that - a memory ?

Wasting Of Borneo, The: Dispatches From A Vanishing WorldWasting Of Borneo, The: Dispatches From A Vanishing World by Shoumatoff, Alex

In his eleventh book, but his first in almost two decades, seasoned travel writer Alex Shoumatoff takes readers on a journey from the woods of rural New York to the rain forests of the Amazon and Borneo, documenting both the abundance of life and the threats to these vanishing Edens in a wide-ranging narrative. Alex and his best friend, Davie, spent their formative years in the forest of Bedford, New York. As adults they grew apart, but bonded by the "imaginary jungle" of their childhood, Alex and Davie reunited fifty years later for a trip to a real jungle, in the heart of Borneo. Shoumatoff condenses a lifetime of learning about what binds humans to animals, nature, and each other, culminating in a celebration of the Penan and a call for Westerners to address the palm-oil crisis and protect the biodiversity that sustains us all.

New Koreans, The: The Business, History And People Of South KoreaNew Koreans, The: The Business, History And People Of South Korea by Breen, Michael

In the course of a couple of generations, South Koreans took themselves out of the paddy fields and into Silicon Valley, establishing themselves as a democracy alongside the advanced countries of the world. Yet for all their ambition and achievement, the new Koreans are a curiously self-deprecating people. Theirs is a land with a rich and complex past, certain aspects of which they would prefer to forget as they focus on the future. Having lived and worked in South Korea for many years, Michael Breen considers what drives the nation today, and where it is heading. Through insightful anecdotes and observations, he provides a compelling portrait of Asia's most contradictory and polarized country. South Koreans are motivated by defiance, Breen argues: defiance of their antagonistic neighbour, North Korea, of their own history and of international opinion. Here is an overlooked nation with, great drive, determined to succeed on its own terms.

Singapore Eurasians: Memories, Hopes And DreamsSingapore Eurasians: Memories, Hopes And Dreams by Braga-Blake, Myrna; Ann Ebert-Oehlers Et Al (Eds.)

This book offers insight into the Singapore Eurasian community, one of Singapore's minority communities. This book is the definitive record of Eurasian history and heritage in Singapore, and serves to educate the younger generation of Eurasians about their roots, the community's achievements and its collective hopes and dreams for the future, as well as provide a useful resource for others to learn more about the Eurasian community. In addition, it also covers the growth and developments of the Eurasian community within the last 25 years, and how the Eurasian Association, as a Self-Help Group since 1994, has been helping the less fortunate through its programmes, as well as being the main force in driving the preservation and sharing of the Eurasian culture for its future generations.

Lky Story, The - Lee Kuan Yew, The Man Who Shaped A NationLky Story, The - Lee Kuan Yew, The Man Who Shaped A Nation by Yoshio Nabeta; Yoshihide Fujiwara (Illus.)

Lee Kuan Yew, informally known by his initials LKY, is recognised as Singapore's founding father and the man who propelled a small nation from The Third World to First under his leadership. In this brilliantly illustrated graphic novel biography, we catch a glimpse into the life of the man before he made history. From his early years and education in Raffles College, to his experiences in World War II and work as a lawyer, the book traces the events that shaped Lee Kuan Yew's ideals that would lead him towards championing the rights of the people and the fight for an independent Singapore.

Understanding Singaporeans: Why Do Eurasians Love Sugee Cake? And Other QuestionsUnderstanding Singaporeans: Why Do Eurasians Love Sugee Cake? And Other Questions by Wee, Edmund

How can you tell if someone is Eurasian? What is Eurasian food? Is kaya a "Eurasian jam"? We provide the answers-and useful tips as well-to some of the most-asked questions young Singaporeans have about Eurasians, including why we don't have a "Eurasiatown". Why Do Eurasians Love Sugee Cake? is part of a series of four illustrated handbooks, each with 20 questions and answers to promote understanding of the different races and cultures in Singapore.

Understanding Singaporeans: Why Do The Chinese Shout Yam Seng? And Other QuestionsUnderstanding Singaporeans: Why Do The Chinese Shout Yam Seng? And Other Questions by Wee, Edmund

Why do the Chinese eat noodles at wedding dinners? Why do they hang blankets around HDB void decks after a funeral? Why is Chinatown called "cow car water"? We provide the answers- and useful tips as well-to some of the most-asked questions young Singaporeans have about the Chinese, including what a "red tortoise cake" is. Why Do the Chinese Shout "Yam Seng"? is part of a series of four illustrated handbooks, each with 20 questions and answers to promote understanding of the different races and cultures in Singapore.

Understanding Singaporeans: Why Do Malays Avoid Pork? And Other QuestionsUnderstanding Singaporeans: Why Do Malays Avoid Pork? And Other Questions by Wee, Edmund

Why do Malays use "bin" and "binte" in their names? Why are there two Hari Rayas? Why do women cover their heads? We provide the answers-and useful tips as well-to some of the most-asked questions young Singaporeans have about the Malay community, including why green is special to Malays. Why Do Malays Avoid Pork? is part of a series of four illustrated handbooks, each with 20 questions and answers to promote understanding of the different races and cultures in Singapore.

Understanding Singaporeans: Why Do Indians Dot Their Foreheads? And Other QuestionsUnderstanding Singaporeans: Why Do Indians Dot Their Foreheads? And Other Questions by Wee, Edmund

Why do Indians hang mango leaves in doorways? Why is it called a mama shop? Where does roti prata come from? We provide the answers-and useful tips as well-to some of the most-asked questions young Singaporeans have about the Indian community, including why some Indians wear turbans. Why Do Indians Dot Their Foreheads? is part of a series of four illustrated handbooks, each with 20 questions and answers to promote understanding of the different races and cultures in Singapore.

Kuala Lumpur Undercover IiKuala Lumpur Undercover Ii by Ewe Paik Leong

As eight sexy girls strut their stuff on stage, spandex shorts swathing their behinds as tightly as the lotus-leaf wrappings of a Chinese dumpling, author Ewe Paik Leong once again finds himself on the trail of Kuala Lumpur's ladies of the night. Following the success of his original book, which resulted in several red-light areas being closed down by the Malaysian authorities, he is back with new girls, new locations and new, shocking material.