Bookends - with Verena Tay

Verena Tay, 48, is a writer and storyteller.

Who: Verena Tay, 48, a writer and storyteller. She will be performing in Stories Of Faith at MoonShadow Stories' World Storytelling Day event next month.

Tay has written and edited a number of short stories and plays. Most recently, she edited the three-volume Balik Kampung series of short stories by local authors, about the areas in Singapore they have lived in for 10 years or more.

Of her passion for storytelling, the bachelorette says: "In storytelling, the teller brings across his version of the story, using voice, speech and gesture. There is no set script and the teller is constantly adapting the telling of the story to the needs of the audience and the circumstances.

"Consequently, the story has more immediacy, and the rapport built up between teller and the audience is a vital element of the experience."

World Storytelling Day is on March 15, and Stories Of Faith will be performed at The Play Den in The Arts House at 8pm. Tickets are priced at $20. Go to moonshadow stories.com for more information.

What book or books are you reading now?

I am reading From The Belly Of The Cat edited by Stephanie Ye, comprising short stories on the theme of cats; The Wayang At Eight Milestone: Stories And Essays, Gregory Nalpon's posthumous collection of stories and essays, an absolute gem of Singaporean writing; and David And Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits And The Art Of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell, which discusses theories on why underdogs can sometimes succeed.

If your house were burning down, what book would you save?

Neil Gaiman's American Gods. The way Gaiman interwove contemporary life and mythic figures together is fascinating.

Balik Kampung 2A (2013, Math Paper Press/ BooksActually, $22.00) and other books by Verena Tay are available at their respective publishers' websites. From The Belly Of The Cat edited by Stephanie Ye (2013, Math Paper Press, $23.54), The Wayang At Eight Milestone: Stories And Essays by Gregory Nalpon (2013, Epigram Books, $20.22), David And Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits And The Art Of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell (2013, Little Brown & Co, $25.68) and American Gods by Neil Gaiman (2005, Headline Publishing Group, $26.00) are available at Books Kinokuniya.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.