Written Country: The History of Singapore through Literature

April 15, 2016

Edited by Gwee Li Sui

Published by Landmark Books, 2016

Contributed:
“Introduction: As It Is, Literarily”
“17 December 1994, or The Taking of the Grail”

Written Country

Back Cover:

Using literary sources alone, Written Country intriguingly reconstructs the history of modern Singapore through fifty defining moments. This landmark anthology spans from the Fall of Singapore to the passing of Lee Kuan Yew and will excite minds to the powers of Singaporean history and literature combined.

Reviews:

I haven’t been too conscientious in keeping up with my reading this year, but out of the few new titles I’ve managed to plough through, one local book sticks in my mind: Written Country: The History of Singapore Through Literature, edited by Gwee Li Sui (Singapore: Landmark Books, 2016). I like the cover, I like the title. And for a non-history buff, I like how the history of modern Singapore is woven together using literary works – prose and poetry – penned by a range of Singapore writers. Beginning with Singapore’s fall to the Japanese during World War II, the book races towards the end of an era marked by the death of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 2015. A total of 50 defining moments are covered, showing how creative writers – aside from making history in their own ways – can be instrumental in tracking a nation’s history in the making.

Yong Shu Hoong

Written Country: The History of Singapore Through Literature edited by Gwee Li Sui is a delightful primer on Singapore literature that also doubles as a heterodox history text.

Alfian Sa’at

Reviews:

 

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