63 local books to launch

63 local books to launch
Festival director Paul Tan (above) presented this year’s programme to the media.

This year's Singapore Writers Festival will see a bumper crop of home-grown book launches with 63 books in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil covering fiction, non-fiction, children's writing and poetry.

This is the highest number of local book launches at the festival, which will be held in the Bugis and Bras Basah area from Nov 1 to 10.

Visual artist Jason Wee is launching his first poetry book, The Monsters Between Us, which he has been working on for three years.

He says: "I received a small arts creation grant in 2010 to produce a poetry manuscript. But by last year the manuscript became a book and a half." He adds that it is "about monsters and the 1980s, its pop music, primary schools and politics".

Other new titles include Cultural Medallion recipient Isa Kamari's four books, including three historical novels about Singapore and an English translation of The Tower, an allegorical tale of success and failure.

There will also be novelist Suchen Christine Lim's novel The River's Song and academic Venka Purushotaman's non-fiction work, The Art Of Sukumar Bose.

These book launches will be among 200 events, including panel discussions, gigs and workshops, literary lunches and a publishing symposium, featuring nearly 200 authors. Headlining the festival are big names such as Jung Chang, author of the wildly successful and critically acclaimed book Wild Swans; British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy; as well as Nobel Laureate Gao Xingjian, who will discuss his books as well as premiere his documentary film Requiem For Beauty.

From Pakistan, poet and writer Fatima Bhutto will talk about her debut work of fiction at the festival while Mohsin Hamid will discuss his writing, including The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which was adapted into a movie by director Mira Nair. The film will be screened at the festival.

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