Read Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe Online

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• Winner of the 2014 Singapore Literature Prize for Fiction• Winner of the 2016 Singapore Book Award for Fiction• Longlisted for the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award• Selected by The Business Times as one of the Top 10 English Singapore books from 1965–2015Meet an over-the-hill Pop Yé-yé singer with a faulty heart, two conservative middle-aged women hol• Winner of the 2014 Singapore Literature Prize for Fiction• Winner of the 2016 Singapore Book Award for Fiction• Longlisted for the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award• Selected by The Business Times as one of the Top 10 English Singapore books from 1965–2015Meet an over-the-hill Pop Yé-yé singer with a faulty heart, two conservative middle-aged women holding hands in the Galápagos, and the proprietor of a Laundromat with a penchant for Cantonese songs of heartbreak. Rehash national icons: the truth about racial riot fodder-girl Maria Hertogh living out her days as a chambermaid in Lake Tahoe, a mirage of the Merlion as a ladyboy working Orchard Towers, and a high-stakes fantasy starring the still-suave lead of the 1990s TV hit serial The Unbeatables.Heartfelt and sexy, the stories of Amanda Lee Koe encompass a skewed world fraught with prestige anxiety, moral relativism, sexual frankness, and the improbable necessity of human connection. Told in strikingly original prose, these are fictions that plough, relentlessly, the possibilities of understanding Singapore and her denizens discursively, off-centre. Ministry of Moral Panic is an extraordinary debut collection and the introduction of a revelatory new voice....

Title : Ministry of Moral Panic
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789810757328
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 216 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ministry of Moral Panic Reviews

  • Shafika A. Ghani
    2019-04-03 23:13

    Ministry of Moral Panic's stories are evocatively heartland (in a Singaporean sense) and aptly rebellious. I find it delightful to be able to see characters that I encounter day-to-day have their place in a literary world. Amanda Lee has portrayed them honestly and what is the most beautiful thing she has done is to not pale her characters' personalities and quirks to their surroundings and influences. While some Singaporean writers are quick to do this-- revolve their stories around our Singaporean values, places or their strong feelings about Singapore itself, Lee has stood her ground in centering hers on her characters. Her characters, Deddy Heikel, Zurotul, the China boy from Harbin are portrayed first as human beings with greed, lust, desire and motivations before they are seen as a Malay rockstar or a maid or a chinese hawker. To see ordinary characters in Lee's world, I am able to see the transcendence of what it means to be human regardless of them being a Singaporean or someone from abroad. Lee has indeed celebrated the human sentiment as something that unifies us all.She has also cleverly created the quintessential Singaporean-- the Malay, Chinese or Indian that can fluidly interchange his racial role with another. I love how her characters are not distinctly Malay or Chinese. They can be the Malay boy who loves a Chinese girl or the Chinese Girl who loves a Western Boy. This transcends what ever divisions that we are made to believe as Singaporeans, subconciously or not. Lee speaks from a unique position, not tainted by racial stereotypes even though she does acknowledges they have come to shape a Singaporean person largely. But what triumphs in the end is her ability to show how she breaks through these very labels through her characters. Her stories tell mostly of the need to escape-- to escape from the roles that a Singaporean is supposed to undertake, or those the society has given or simply the very human desire to escape from their present condition. And indeed she has performed a very great escape consistently throughout all her stories. Lee escapes through time, from an insight through Maria in 'Fourteen Entries from the Diary of Maria Hertogh' or simply even through the character 'Sledge' who travels in the form of developing her perspectives about the world with her relationship with Bear, an American boy, in 'Every Park in Singapore.'Moral Panic is a contemporary take on what it means to grow up a Singaporean or to live in Singapore and grappling one's humanness against the tide of every imaginable influence and expectations that comes with being in this country.

  • Jee Koh
    2019-04-17 22:07

    There is a deftness of touch, a sureness of intent, a knowingness of accomplishment that makes it hard to believe that Ministry of Moral Panic is Amanda Lee Koe's first book of fiction. She has marked out in virgin territory a realm of her own, a kingdom of weird, non-conforming, stubborn passions in Singapore. And she has done so without resorting to the usual pieties of understanding and tolerance. She has looked directly at the contorted subject and drawn every contortion that she could see. Love between a senile Chinese high-society woman and a successful but aging Malay rocker with three wives? Read the opening story "Flamingo Valley." Art as vengeance by a Chinese Singaporean artist for unrequited love from an Iranian Muslim reporter? Read "Carousel & Fort." The manipulations of love? Read "Pawn" to find who is making use of whom, the middle-aged Chinese Singaporean office virgin or the Chinese Chinese food-stall boy. The attraction between a high-living, and dying, female globetrotter and a teenage girl trying to come into her own person? Read "Alice, You Must Be the Fulcrum of Your Own Universe." Inter-species love? Read "Siren," a fantastic tale about the one-night passion between a sailor and a mermaid, and the seductiveness of their offspring, a ladyboy with both a slit and a stick. Perfectly capable of writing the well-crafted traditional short story, Koe experiments confidently with narrative form as well. The urban pastoral "Every Park on This Island" is written in sections headed by the names of parks in Singapore. The most powerful of these experiments is the "Fourteen Entries from the Diary of Maria Hertogh," a Dutch girl raised by a Malay Muslim family, who was forcibly reclaimed by her Dutch parents by resorting to British law, and then transplanted to The Netherlands, where she did not take root. Yes, a few of the stories are slight, not in length, but in substance. "Two Ways to Do This" does not improve even in its second variation: the experience of rape is described with great acuity, but the folkloric magical elements are unsurprising. "Laundromat" is as bland as the sociological experiment that it describes. Nevertheless, the collection is eminently readable. I should know. I read it straight through--all fourteen stories--on my flight from Singapore to New York. I had not been able to read on a plane for a while. Too uncomfortable and distracted. But these stories carried me to the end.

  • Daryl
    2019-03-22 18:11

    Just possibly the most exciting thing to happen to Singaporean prose in a long, long time. Amanda writes like no one else, and her short stories open up that wonderful, dizzying sense of possibility in a city. In its own, peculiar way, Ministry of Moral Panic reimagines this island-nation-city-state for us, and the reader is sometimes powerfully taken by the sense that they are on the threshold of a new way of living, of being in Singapore . This is because Amanda's writing does not, like so much of Singaporean fiction, simply look back towards the past, nostalgically; rather, it always seeks the future. Exceptional.

  • Oh Hwee
    2019-03-30 22:21

    Once in a while a book excites me so much I couldn't get over the excitement to sit down and continue reading. This is one of them. It is one of the best works in Singapore today and highly recommended.

  • Karina Is
    2019-04-12 22:22

    These stories were hits and misses for me. "Flamingo Valley", "Two Ways To Do This" and "Alice, You Must Be the Fulcrum of Your Own Universe" were my favorites. "Fourteen Entries from the Diary of Maria Hertogh" however, as a story I was looking forward to read, was quite disappointing and surprisingly shallow. And then there is "Siren" which perplexed me, and confused me-not really in a good way. Having said that though, I did enjoy reading a something written by a Singaporean, which I never have before for some inexplicable reason (having lived here for a long time).

  • Richard Whitehead
    2019-03-25 16:04

    Determined to be sceptical I ended up really enjoying this collection, and am now excited to prepare to teach it back to back with Malay Sketches. To use an academic term this is a bloody good book, at moments verging on the sublime, and even the satisfyingly wierd, something rarely super well done in comparatively fledgling Singlit. I liked the last half of the book best, my colleague the first bit - seems telling. I was prepared to wince at the Nadra story - but Amanda Lee Koe writes informedly with sensitivity, empathy. and for representations of Asian on caucasian violence this shows how far we have come since Heartland. Really hope the next book pushes the envelope even further: Singapore lit inclusive of and beyond its aggressive-laconic ah lians, NIE lesbians and penchant for Swedish porn.

  • Fiona
    2019-04-14 19:12

    Ministry of Moral Panic is not moralistic, but leaves a sobering, --almost haunting-- moral lesson after each short story, without being didactic in nature. A great collection of short stories which carries enough local flavour without hitting it over your head.

  • Priscilla
    2019-04-17 21:16

    Thought-provoking. Captivating. Powerful. Compelling.

  • Samantha
    2019-03-28 16:01

    To be added in a later comment when I can coherently string my thoughts, I feel like I have a lot and nothing to say.

  • Hueyyun
    2019-03-27 00:04

    The wistful flâneur of city living is subdued by a thick heady fog of moral discomfort – issues of transgender, incest, xenophobia (…) are explored unabashedly. In the atmospheric style of 12 Storeys, the HDB flats and heartlanders’ lives are pried open to subtly reveal the intimate problems and frustrations of navigating a judgemental society. Local myths and the state’s historical narratives are re-imagined. As we follow the characters sprawling and blundering through Amanda Lee Koe’s Minotaur’s labyrinth, we are confronted with a lacunae belief that what guides the characters may not reside in our ideas of moral righteousness and conventions. Maybe, our empathy is their Adriane’s thread.

  • Mmlily
    2019-04-11 19:09

    I am a pragmatic, boring local who suddenly decided to read fiction (what more local) because something on the social media news feed extolled the virtues of reading fiction. This book poked. Reading pages in bed before sleep may not be a good idea depending on which nerves get boxed-sprung. The most memorable story, read on the train. Oh, I am a bug who can't be the axle of its young galaxy. Four stars because five looks hyperbolic - no, after being hushed I don't gush. Dearie, suddenly thought about reading the book again.

  • Natalie
    2019-03-20 16:23

    on the whole, i would recommend this book. there was a wide range of voices/perspectives, touching on an equally wide range of issues, all ‘quintessentially’ singaporean. i can see why it won the singapore literature prize for fiction in 2014. her writing voice stands out as strong & unique. at the same time, there was a sense that the choice of certain voices served as a conduit to channel a specific idea through. it’s important of course to include a spectrum of narrators, but the weakest stories had a sense of artificiality, intentionally constructed to bring out specific issues. that in itself is not a reason for criticism, but the narrators she chose were ones with experiences furthest from her own, and that came across in the writing: she was unable to fully inhabit their perspective.an example of this was ‘two ways to do this’, written from the perspective of Zurotul, an indonesian woman who comes to singapore to look for work as domestic help. what this story serves as a conduit for is clear: it brings out the way the majority of singaporean employers (particularly the women/wives) do not treat domestic helpers with dignity and respect, expect them to serve their every need, forget they have lives of their own. all of that is necessary. but having read ann ang’s ‘bang my car’, resplendent in singlish creole, it feels false to read a narrative from such a perspective crafted perfect english. it came across as "this is what i think someone in that position would think", instead of genuinely inhabiting her interior perspective. the kind of metaphors used were indicative of this—an outsider’s imagination of the experience. another weak story: ‘every park on this island’, about a singaporean girl dating a white foreign exchange student. the narrative is structured around the names of parks in singapore, like bukit timah hill, telok blangah hill park, mount faber, tracing the development of their relationship as the two of them visit every park in singapore. tbh he’s a little shit, not particularly interesting; the story doesn’t give enough justification to warrant her level of affection. similarly, what this story serves as a conduit for is this scene: when they are abt to have sex, he can’t get erect and tells her i think i only feel attracted to white girls. the idea that white men still view southeast asian women via a lens of exoticism, that colour of skin undeniably feeds into their perspective, the way western exchange students (and expats) consume singaporean culture, taking without leaving etc. i appreciate the focus on those issues but the relationship doesn’t come across as convincing. even after he leaves she still writes “Where am I going to get another boy here who understands that I want to get married with a 99-cent thrift store ring?” on a polaroid and mails it to him. on the whole though, i did like (even love) the majority of the stories. for example, ‘flamingo valley’ is set in a hospital, where Deddy Haikel, a malay man, meets Ling Ko Mui, a chinese women, both now in their late sixties. they used to go out, when he played at her dad’s pub; she would sneak out with him on his motorcycle to go for supper, bc her dad would not have allowed her to date a malay man. he liked her far more than she ever knew, & she was always on his mind even after they stopped going out. that was a very sweet story. there’s ‘The King of Caldecott’, about an encounter with the most famous chinese actor on channel 8, who always stars as the lead on the 9pm show (lee nanxing..?). in ‘chick’, the story opens with an account of the narrator going on a school trip to the zoo, as a small child, being given a chick to hold in her palms, which she closes her hands on and kills. not so much out of cruelty but the curiosity to see how far you can push the limit. that becomes a metaphor for the way her relationships end. she recognises she treats men in the same way, cruel and indifferent, except that as an adult there are real consequences. finally my fav story, and really the best one in this collection, is titled ‘Laundromat’:It started out as a 24-hour Laundromat, really, and then he saw from his little CCTC that the people in there lingered, wanting to talk to one another, wondering if they were both the same kind of lonely, but they were Asian and it was difficult. The Laundromat did not carry with it the same type of casual grungy romanticism as it did in Western countries, an invitation to treat over churning denim and cotton and underpants. Here perhaps it was something to be ashamed of—that you had no one to do your laundry for you, that you accumulated soiled clothing and found it more economical to use token-operated machines, that you were airing your dirty linen in public. So they turned away from one another, collecting their freshly laundered clothes in gaudy plastic pails and baskets, walking around from one another into the day or night.And so the proprietor introduced the cats. Nothing fancy, just a ginger and a tortoiseshell he’d seen loitering at the nearby void deck. He was too cheap to get something pedigree, and besides, he didn’t think the heartland crowd might appreciate a Russian Blue or a Maine Coon much. He put red collars with shiny gold bells on them, and gave them each a bowl in the corner of the room. They did well. They were less nonchalant than he’d expected. They rubbed their heads against a variety of shins, and leapt onto rumbling washing machines demanding to be stroked. The proprietor went back to watching, and he saw the way the man was able to approach the woman because she was petting the tortoiseshell, the importance of an intermediary. He saw them sink down to the floor to ticket the tortoiseshell together when the cat stretched herself. He saw the man taking a picture of the tortoiseshell on his phone, showing it to the woman, and how they exchanged numbers afterwards."more people begin to come in, coalescing around the cats; the proprietor puts in a mini fridge, electric kettle, a karaoke machine, and the laundromat soon becomes a place around which a community forms. it made me wish a place like that really existed. saying anything more would spoil the story. for that story alone, this book is worth reading.

  • Stefanie Tang
    2019-03-27 20:05

    The story "Chick" resounded very much with me, especially the lines "Somebody loved you and sat in the palm of your hand, and you couldn't stop squeezing. There are so many ways of making use of a person, far more than there are ways of generosity and loving. The beauty of humans, though, is that they are far less fragile than a three-week-old chick and far more adaptable. The contortions you could tease out of this human being delighted you. It aptly describes the possible reason behind how people cannot stay with one lover but move on to have consecutive lovers, one after another.

  • Leon
    2019-04-02 16:14

    The stories impress themselves upon you, and you'll remember each one's unique shape, tone and character. Raw in some areas, jarring in others (an uneducated housewife with a penchant for Tsai Ming Liang?), teetering on cliche even. But Lee Koe shows she has her finger clearly on the pulse of these times: our sex-cynical, social media-soaked, hipster-populated years. She's only 23 @_@ I'm looking forward to more of her writing.

  • Olivia
    2019-04-10 22:05

    Certain stories stand out more than others for me; I particularly liked those which wove history into fiction. Always will be a bit of a history nerd. It's overall quite sad I feel, but it's good to read something that chronicles the issues close to home. Amanda digs deep, uncovering stories that are lived, but rarely spoken about.

  • Sabrina Loh
    2019-03-25 21:54

    A clever, even nostalgic, collection of stories that (I suspect) would ring the most true for Singaporean readers who appreciate the references to Caldecott Hill and other local cultural elements. The scenarios are fresh and imaginative and while entering them, they constantly left me wanting more once each narrative had ended.

  • Corinna
    2019-03-23 21:13

    I found myself going through the pages easily, eager to see what I would find in the next short story. The theme in the short stories appear to revolve around escaping. And it made me wonder what was it in my own life that I wanted to set down and leave it all behind.

  • Marty
    2019-03-29 16:20

    Superb through and through!

  • Galina
    2019-04-16 18:01

    A pretty captivating series of stories, each from the perspective of very different characters. These are stories that could've taken place anywhere besides Singapore, which I appreciate because I have the universality of that. Not all the stories were necessarily that original, but the author's art of storytelling is quite compelling. One or two of the stories left me hanging and wanting more. I look forward to her book when it's out!

  • Junhao
    2019-03-27 20:58

    An excellent collection of short stories, all of which are of consistently high standard. The stories all revolve around life and love in Singapore, in all their myriad forms. Through the various stories, it's clear that the author possesses an amazingly sharp understanding of both life and love. A thoroughly enjoyable read, and one which I highly recommend.

  • Lydia Sahrom
    2019-04-03 20:24

    Stories I liked were "Flamingo Valley" although stereotypical in the racial sense, and "Laundromat" which was pretty nostalgic.However, despite all the raving reviews I've read, I failed to find affinity with the book after reading it.This is my take on it:The stories do stick by the theme of stirring "moral panic" by the way they unsettle the reader and cause them to feel a little messed up after reading them, but that's what it's supposed to do, challenge the moral uprightness of everyday people, in particular Singaporeans who are generally perceived as uptight. I felt disturbed a couple of times but I think this is an indication of success of what the book was trying to achieve. It'll shock you, provoke you, question yourself on the extremity/motivations of which the characters were driven to act the way they did, especially with how nonchalant the stories were expressed, as if the defects in the characters and their lives were no big deal. At times they were poignant and reflect a side of people you would never have empathised with if you didn't know their story or faced the same obstacles. I must admit that the style of writing was peppered with wit and clearly displayed a deftness in language and creative skill. It also included a lot of colloquial language and historical/cultural themes from Singapore, distinctly local. An outsider may need to make many references in order to understand whereas a Singaporean would be quick to identify with the allusions.However,when they say "sexual frankness" in the synopsis, they really meant it so if you're the sort that's not comfortable or fond of... explicit or graphic scenes, let me tell you now that it won't be for you.Personally, I felt that it lacked a sense of intimacy, or deepness. I think it's the detached manner in which the stories were told despite the crude contents. My reactions were more of shock and eventually consenting my discomfort and moving on, rather than true engrossment. I feel that you need to be just as detached and to think critically in order to appreciate the message of each story.I apologise if you really liked the book and disagree with me, but this review really is based on personal opinions. I feel like the lone dissenter amongst the raving reviews and *gasps* Literary Award. While I didn't like it, I HAVE identified certain merits in it.Perhaps this could be attributed to having read other local books. As a cross-reference, the closest short stories collection I could relate this book to is "Polite Fiction" by Colin Cheong, which was also sexually-explicit and revealed the darker sides of people's lives that they hide and, yes, the morally-questionable things they do. But despite these common characteristics, I personally preferred "Polite Fiction" because there was still a sense of intimacy in the way the characters related to each other, the moments they share and the presence of emotions, as well as some redeeming qualities or sense of regret in the characters. In my view, what was different was that there was beauty in "Polite Fiction" while there were disconcerting scars in "Ministry of Moral Panic". Ironically, "Polite Fiction" received mostly low ratings and doesn't seem widely-read, so perhaps my comparison is not particularly reliable. (Again with the lone dissenting viewpoint)So...to sum up, while I admired the clearly-evident talent in Amanda Lee Koe's writing, and respect her for her achievements in the editorial and journalism scene, this book wasn't for me.

  • THAT kid
    2019-03-26 18:55

    I knew Amanda Lee Koe had her own distinct style the minute I finished the first page. I must admit - I am more excited to read whatever fiction the youth of this country puts out than the stuffy navel-gaze of the previous generation who insist that being Asian is more or less a death sentence (love you guys, though): if this collection is of any evidence, there is less myopia, more adventure, and strangely enough - more tolerance and acceptance. The prose here flows wonderfully, every character is brilliantly realised, and there are absolute gems i the telling: you know the type, that sentence that is instantly quotable, scribble it out, highlight it, whatever. Within the first 6 pages, I was in love. Who writes like that, I was demanding as I read on - how does she do it?Still, certain stories are better than others. It's a shocking collection, "frankly sexual", and sometimes this tips into gratuitousness - The Chick was definitely my least favourite story. I don't mind brashess, I'm just not fond of shocking just for the sake of it. But apart from that... I pretty much enjoyed everything else (I just didn't *get* The Chick) I'll review my top three (I returned this to the library so I'm going off memory here, which means descriptions instead of actual titles):1. The one where white boy and uni girl go to every park in the island An interesting delve into the distance that exists beyond geography; what sets us apart and what brings us together; how six degrees of separation shrinks in the face of the modern world. The relationship between the local girl and the American boy was so honestly done, very truthful, strangely millennial. It was brutal too - one sentence made my heart absolutely drop. And the closing line showcased a wonderful wistfulness, heartbreaking yet hopeful. 2. The artist and the curator I love stories that take place in art institutions, and I love discussions on the nature of exhibitions. This particular piece was insanely quotable - actually had me thinking of SAM - and the two characters were archetypes, but so sharply realised. The ending - once again - had a strange and quiet power.3. The first story This was one was my personal favourite. It was evocative, electric and cheesily romantic in that earnest way that we are loath to talk about now because in the 21st century we've made irony cool. It's just that kind of story that could easily, I think, become a cult favourite - that bit about Lennon's influence on Deddy Haikel with just one phrase, that scene of their first "date" - sometimes you cannot articulate precisely how you know a writer's got it, but in this story I became an instant convert: Amanda Lee Koe has most definitely got it. I'll read everything she writes and I'm glad she won the prize back in 2014.

  • Suningk
    2019-03-22 18:15

    "The deaths -- tiny ones, false ones, real ones -- we undertake in the name of love are the closest we ever come to greatness."Amanda Lee Koe's Ministry of Moral Panic: Such original. So sex. Wow.Not only is this debut collection of short stories one of the contender's in this year's fiction category of the Singapore Literature Prize, it was also highly recommended by those who had read it -- they said she'll win.So having read The Inlet and proclaiming it to be the "best Singapore writing I've read yet" (competing with MMP btw), I had to get my hands on this and judge for myself.I was floored by its brilliance just three stories into the book and had conceded defeat... Until I came to the later half and felt myself choking under the ever-coming tides of bad, carnal sex that threatened to rob each story of its plot and sensibilities.The stories are not the hackneyed HDB-nostalgia sort (enough already, seriously) that try so desperately to be sentimental but end up staid; ALK must be commended for teasing out real, complex, original, intriguing characters from Singaporean backgrounds that we now know so well. The narrative is constantly priming you for the next scene and it always takes an unexpected turn before leaving you dazed and inflected by the often abrupt and open endingsAll the 13+1 stories stand on their own and I definitely liked some parts in each of them. I especially like the stories "Carousel & Fort", "Pawn", "The King of Caldecott Hill" and "Alice, You Must Be The Fulcrum of Your Own Universe".Relationships are basically the movers of each story (as it is with everything) regardless of sex, age or human -- yes, the merlion's in it too -- and on rare occasions, I found ALK could've expressed them more lucidly or even just surface them. So while I opine that Claire Tham still has better language, ALK bests her in a few more - in plot and in ingenuity. Sorry, Claire."I went back to bed, reclining into the pillows. I heard her gargling, spitting, gargling, spitting. I heard the rindle of water as she washed her face, the small splashes. I heard her put the toilet seat cover down. I heard her peeing. Listening to her peeing as I lay on the hotel bed, my heart was fit to burst."

  • Yifarn Loo
    2019-04-03 16:56

    The odd thing about this book is that none of the stories were particularly moving or poignant, despite the razzle-dazzle of clever scenarios and situations. I do feel that stories need to be about genuine insight or memorable characters and their struggles, and this book was more like an imaginative series of creative-writing exercises.

  • Arisa Ali
    2019-03-25 23:19

    My first dive in Singapore literature and this went up & beyond my expectations.Do not reckon this for a conservative read. Th author has this uncanny ability to portray her characters in a relatable yet, morally questionable way. Thus perhaps, the reason behind the title. There were moments where my soul seemed to linger on its words due to a strange connection to the story, possibly due to some personal experience and also the fact that it hits closer to home, literally.There were also moments where I had to stop and pause for awhile to digest it all. A radical read that may paint a picture of the people you see everyday.

  • Althea J.
    2019-04-01 00:03

    I chose this book to fulfill the category of "read a book by an author from Southeast Asia" for the BookRiot Read Harder 2016 challenge. Being so unfamiliar with the region, I wanted to read a modern voice that would give me a sense of the modern human experience of people living there. Ministry of Moral Panic won the Singapore Literature Prize for Fiction in 2014, so I figured I'd start there.Jackpot!Amanda Lee Koe's book of short stories paints portraits of modern human experience. Throughout this collection of stories, we meet women (and a few men) at varied stages of life, from varied stations on the socio-economic spectrum. We get such rich insight into their lives in so few pages. Each story pulled me in and made me want to understand the person at the center. I really enjoyed this book! I devoured it in 2 days. I feel like I got a sense of Singapore in that there is no singular Singapore experience. There seems to be a veritable melting pot of cultures converging in a tropical island state. This book made me want to visit and maybe not see "Every Park on This Island," but I wouldn't mind trying.

  • Jason
    2019-04-03 17:58

    1. What does this author have against quotation marks? It makes it difficult to know when a line or paragraph is actually part of a dialogue, he said.2. Style of writing felt very rushed; there were weird moments of clarity and straight to the point prose, then smatterings of concentrated verbiage here and there.3. Themes were explored in a cringeworthy, rather contrived manner.4. Some stories had very incredible conclusions.

  • Moshi
    2019-04-05 18:06

    I am in awe of Amanda Lee. Her prose is delightful and her stories lingers in a honest yet uneasy way that all Singaporeans can resonate. Some stories are disturbing yet honest. I'm sad to have finished it.

  • Maya Saputra
    2019-04-16 16:11

    I'm not a Singaporean, but I have been there for a sufficient period of time to be able to share the sentiments of the characters. That kind of book that will leave me wanting. That kind of stories that linger even long after I turn the last page.

  • Grace Chia
    2019-04-03 22:17

    Fun read, delicious sentences. Not sure why there are two stories in my copy that have the same titles and same opening paragraphs with diff middle and end. Is this an editing error?