A garden we will tend together

An artwork of small blue squares

Agnes Martin, 'Summer' (1964)


Dear Reader,

How are you? Life has become even much harder for those among us, who were already living lives laden with challenges. If you are struggling, our hope is for support to be within your reach.

Uncertainty weighs on us all: Ethos Books starts the new week as a team separated into two groups. Beyond adjusting to new work habits, we will take this time to rethink our approach to publishing, to work, to connecting you with the urgent and the important.

Already, Jennifer has had to turn her event with The Moon, "Not Just Fiction: Writing the Climate Crisis", into a live-stream. And what a response: the readiness of The Moon and our invited speakers to work out the live-stream arrangement was mirrored in the willingness of the participants to support The Moon and Ethos Books. More ticket orders came in than the ones we refunded to participants; we ended up selling 53 tickets, 13 more than what we had planned for the original event.

Difficult times do not necessarily diminish our capacity to care for one another, for matters close to our heart. We deeply appreciate this lining that shines in the human spirit, and would like to share the recorded live-stream with those of you who couldn’t join us. A special video, willed into existence by collective desire to right the climate crisis.

Can this time be for us to grow closer as a community, to develop what Justin my colleague calls a more expansive attitude of solidarity? If you are able, now is the time to step forward to pledge your support to a cause close to your heart. This could be your favourite arts group, theatre company, or bookshop. Your neighbourhood store, or something larger like an ideology or a movement.

Suning and her editorial team will continue working hard on upcoming titles that articulate with our concerns as a people. Following Cherian George’s Air-Conditioned Nation Revisited: Essays on Singapore Politics, a vital read for Singaporeans before the next General Elections, Ethos Books will be launching Eating Chili Crab in the Anthropocene: Environmental Perspectives on Life in Singapore. Reading this would be a first step towards understanding our role as individuals in taking climate action. For me personally, our team’s commitment to this title has allowed me to discover the good people of SG Climate Rally.

In the coming months, may the distance between individuals and nations be bridged by our increasing closeness of mind and purpose in tackling collective issues such as climate change and the iniquities of our economic system. Yes, we is you and I.


Kah Gay

(From March 29, 2020)