BooksActually & Math Paper Press
at Singapore Writers Festival 2012
UNREST by Yeng Pway Ngon
TRANSPARENT STRANGERS by Loh Guan Liang
Date: 7 Nov 2012, Wednesday
Time: 8.30 pm ~ 9.30 pm
Venue: Singapore Management University
(Festival Pavilion, Campus Green)
In 1987, a middle-aged man and woman share a night of passion, returning to their respective spouses the next day. They will not see each other again, but each is profoundly shaken by the consummation of a relationship that began thirty years previously. We discover this couple first met in the 1950s when they were both student revolutionaries in Singapore, ardently striving to bring about a socialist paradise in Asia. How did they go from the high-minded ideals of Communism to empty marriages and sordid adultery? A study in the decline of idealism and the ultimate failure of the Communist project, Unrest is also a bittersweet love story that takes place across Singapore, Malaya, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.
In Transparent Strangers, the city is more than steel and glass: it is also a landscape where emotion is as much architecture as it is part of human experience. With subjects ranging from burial sites to Taiwanese dramas, this debut collection of poems meditates on the distance we must cross with words to make the everyday unfamiliar again; if only to understand ourselves better.
Born in 1947, Yeng Pway Ngon is a poet, novelist, playwright and critic who has published 24 books. He is a recipient of Singapore’s 2003 Cultural Medallion. His novel A Man Like Me won a National Book Development Council of Singapore’s Book Award in 1988, while Unrest won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2004. Trivialities about Me and Myself won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2008 and was named one of the 10 best Chinese novels in the world for 2006 by Asiaweek magazine.
Winner of Moving Words 2011, Loh Guan Liang is the sort of man your mother warned you about – educator by day, he sits at nightfall weaving quiet words in a city obsessed with speed; words still enough to spin each waking moment into gold. She also probably didn’t tell you how his poems have been sighted in Ceriph, Mascara Literary Review, OF ZOOS, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and twntysmthg.
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