In a very packed-with-good-stuff ReadsMonthly section the Starmag team journalists compile a list of their 51 best reads esp for Merdeka.
Daphne Lee interviews Bernice Chauly about her work (You can find the full interview on Daphne's blog.) :
Chauly’s poems are deeply personal. They may or may not be autobiographical in detail, but the stories they tell feel like they were shaped by real emotions and memories.and Ahnaf reviews her collection of poetry The Book of Sins.
They are Chauly’s emotions, memories and stories, but they also speak to and for women the world over. They are familiar tales, but filtered through the voice of an individual, they defy the cliches of everyday experience and become significant, compelling and unique.
There's a write up by Rouwen Lin about the Read While Waiting flashmob event of last weekend.
Janet Tay review Nam Le's collection of short fiction The Boat (and there's a 25% off token!), and KayKay enjoys David Sedaris' When You Are englulfed by Flames.
Vernon Adrian Emaung crossed the causeway for Kee Thuan Chye's The Swordfish, Then the Concubine, which sounds as if it was beautifully staged :
Set in minimalist staging that featured a serambi or open platform for village gatherings, 15 Singaporean actors tackled a story that called for a cast of thousands across two generations – you couldn’t get more epic than that, right? Especially so when you have a gamelan orchestra providing for the peaks and troughs of human drama, the deafening clamour of war, and the crescendo of divine retribution. Music composer Joyce Teo and the Gamelan Asmarada group delivered proficiently on that aspect. The underlying political commentary linked current issues to these ancient myths quite commendably in the writing. Similarly, it was truly fascinating to watch the production draw stylistically from bangsawan (Malay opera), dikir barat, and silat to facilitate and vibrantly colour the storytelling.It was quite an honour to have a Malaysian play kick off a Singaporean Theatre Festival. How sad I am I missed it. But I do hope it is staged here soon.