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Rojak: Stories from The Singapore Writers' Group Paperback – July 8, 2014
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About the Author
Alice Clark-Platts is the founder of The Singapore Writers’ Group. She is a former human rights lawyer who has lived in Singapore with her husband and two daughters since 2011. Her novel, Warchild, was short-listed for the Impress Prize 2013. She is currently working on her first DI Erica Martin novel, The Weir. Alice writes a blog on writing and motherhood at http://www.mycoffeewithconnie.com and is also a monthly contributor to http://www.asianbooksblog.com. **** We are happy to present our very first anthology written by the following authors, local and expatriates from various countries and backgrounds: Alice Clark-Platts, Lucia Damacela, Vanessa Deza Hangad, Ta'afuli Andrew Fiu, Ying Jiang, X Lee, Wan Phing Lim, S Mickey Lin, Vincente Miguel Locsin, MaryAnn Loo, Tara Mitchell, Jerrie Ng, Kim Ong Seok Khim, Helena M Ryan, Sarah Salmon, Caitlyn Sarkar, Barrie Seppings, Michelle Ayn Tessensohn, Tharindu Vishwanath More info on: http://www.rojakthebook.com http://www.rojakthebook.com/blog/ http://singaporewritersgroup.com (coming up)
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Top Customer Reviews
I am no expert on the "short story" genre, but this book is worth a read to see just how different people who live in the same place came up with such different stories and styles.
Each story is quite readable in one sitting, and some of them are fun while others make you think hmmmm. And some are educational from a cultural perspective.
The opening story, Lions in the Morning, plunges us into the sweaty crucible of colonial Africa and a morality tale that delivers a bang, like a sundowner with a zesty twist. Later on, Tara Mitchell's coming-of-age story, Africa Sucks, probes more modern-day conflicts: exposing a do-gooder who's up to no good. My stand-out story of the collection, Africa Sucks is assured and accomplished with a surprise ending that is the right combination of shock and inevitability.
Some stories, such as the atmospheric Ice Fey, read like extracts from a work-in-progress, but nonetheless reflect the potential of the writer. Others reveal where the authors come from, where they have been and, in many cases, the pain of being trapped between the two: through their narratives we visit a dying émigré in New York, a homesick Singaporean in San Francisco, and an African child whose affecting story means she literally doesn't know where she's from.
Rojak is the impressive first serving from a diverse bunch of writers who show that many cooks can dish up a tasty broth.
I blog at: http://jofurniss.wordpress.com
The anthology is well written and edited. Some stories are concise with clear endings while others end leaving the reader craving more. All pack a strong punch, filled with emotion and depth in mere pages. Many could serve as the basis of full-length novels. Although written by 19 authors with diverse writing styles and interests, the book features a coherent narrative and themes guided by the deft hand of Singapore Writers’ Group founder Alice Clark-Platts, who brought an eclectic “mixture” of members together to write this anthology.
I’m looking forward to reading more short stories from the Singapore Writers’ Group and follow-on works by the book’s contributors. Read this book for a taste of what this talented group has to offer, and if you are in Singapore, get to know the SWG. It has a bright future on the Singapore literary scene.
I give “Rojak” five (5) stars and recommend it to anyone interested in Singapore, travel stories, or well-written short stories.
Ta'afuli Andrew Fiu's, "Not my Mother," and S Mickey Lin's, "Adrift", are evocative tales focussing on the pull of family memories.
"Adrift," is particularly confronting and takes place aboard a patrol boat where a Singaporean immigrant faces refugees of his former home country in circumstances similar to those he was once himself in."A Deviation," by Vincente Miguel Locsin features a jet-setting business man passing through Singapore on a brief visit and is a heart-warming distraction after some of the heavier pieces.
Two other excellent stories, "Mr Lim and Minah," by Kim ONG S.K. and "Mangala," by Sarah Salmon touch upon the lives of domestic workers from differing points of view. "New Guinea Gold," is another mentionable a clever and amusing story about a student and his girlfriend's cockeyed plan to trade arms for drugs.
Some pieces are very brief and read more as vignettes. However I enjoyed this quirky collection each story is accessible and intriguing and they are just the right length to read whilst waiting in a queue or out and about on public transport.