What I really enjoy about theatre is that it’s a liberating art form. It’s often used to explore ideas that aren’t mainstream. Mimi Fan is a prime example of this in Singapore literature. When it was first staged in 1962, it shocked more than a few sensibilities because it was rather progressive and liberal for its time. The annex even features a newspaper article touting Mimi Fan as a controversial play.
I Want to Go Home is a little different from most non-fiction books because the same material was used to produce a companion documentary with the same title. I’ve not watched the documentary but I did view the trailer. Based on the synopsis and the trailer, I expected the subject of I Want to Go Home to be Mr Takamatsu. As I read the book, however, I found this not to be the case.
Sofia and the Utopia Machine fills an important space in Singapore literature not only as an young adult book but as science fiction. I don’t remember coming across any local YA books when I was in primary and secondary school. In fact, when I was still in secondary school, I wasn’t interested in Singapore literature precisely because it seemed to be geared towards adults. In that regard, it’s heartening that local YA books have gained more visibility in recent years.
If you could live for hundreds of years, if not, forever, would you want to? In Suicide Club, those who deserve it are given immortality. In exchange, they have to take good care of their health — eat well, exercise and all that jazz. What I liked about this premise was that it plays on our contemporary obsession with health and wellness. Food diet movements abound from “clean eating” to keto to paleo, claiming to detox, strengthen the immune system, etc. Rachel Heng pushed these ideal to the extreme in her futuristic science fiction novel set in New York City.