A Beginner’s Guide to Local Literature

So you want to start reading Local Books, but just don’t know where to start?

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there and got you covered on this one. We have picked out eleven books that we think is a great place to start, many of them award-winners

1. Bamboo Heart by Ann Bennett

In a blend of stirring fiction and heart-wrenching history, Ann Bennett narrates the story of a soldier’s strength and survival in the bleakest of times and a daughter’s journey of discovery about her father and herself. Bamboo Heart is part of a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy of historical fiction that can be read in any order and includes Bamboo Island and Bamboo Road. Read More

2. The Dictator’s Eyebrow by Cyril Wong

This is a disturbing, poetic account of an unnamed dictator’s eyebrow whose longings, delusions of grandeur, and curious influence have shaped history in ways previously unknown until now. Within a surreal tale about an eyebrow’s thirst for recognition and power, a love story also unexpectedly emerges. 

3. Through the Lens of Lee Kim Lin by Lai Chee Kien

In 2009, the family of the late Lee Kip Lin donated to the National Library Board, Singapore over 14,500 slides and negatives of modern Singapore that he had taken, among other items of historical merit such as maps, rare photographs and prints, and books. Over three decades from 1965 to 1995, Lee captured the many landscapes and buildings that would eventually disappear from the island and its shores. Read More

4. Larger Than Life by Belinda Lee and Juleen Shaw

Larger than life

Award winning television actress and host Belinda Lee has travelled the world in the course of her work. The bilingual thespian has met many remarkable individuals who have embraced the road less trodden and left the rat race. They volunteer their time in unusual social causes including building schools, rescuing street children and helping those suffering from the ravages of war. Read More

5. Keep Calm and Mother On by Pauline Loh (Editor)

Keep Calm and Mother On

Mothers do so much! And, many times, they feel they’re doing it all alone! At such times, it would be wonderful to have a handy pocket- sized companion whispering to us, “Hey, you’re doing okay.” This book is a tiny companion to tuck into your handbag that reassures you that all the things you are doing every day do count! Read More 


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