The Singapore I Recognise

Check out The Singapore I Recognise postcard wall when you visit Ethos Dreams and pen your own postcard about the Singapore you want to see.
It feels a little surreal to be writing this. It means that my book, The Singapore I Recognise: Essays on home, community and hope, is almost ready to be released into the world. While working on it, there were moments where I thought that maybe I would never get to the end of the process, never find the light at the end of the tunnel. So I’m incredibly excited—but also very relieved—to have arrived here!

I’d been thinking of writing a book for a very long time. There were a few false starts as I tried one idea, then another. I just couldn’t settle on one subject, one focus. But as I went about my work in journalism and civil society and talked to different people about Singapore, I’ve often wondered if I live in a parallel Singapore from many people. Certainly citizens and migrants who aren’t politically active haven’t had the same experiences with censorship, police investigation and political harassment that I and many of my other activist friends have had. The chapters crystallised around this idea as I wrote.

I enjoyed the short documentary Ethos produced in which many people shared about the Singapore they recognise as home. It was beautiful to see such a diverse range of views and expressions, all bound by a rootedness to this idiosyncratic country. I can’t wait to share the Singapore that I recognise with all of you.

The book cover reveal is scheduled for 3 August, and preorders will run from 3–31 August. If you’d like to be among the first to get a copy, there’ll be a limited time book takeover on the last weekend of Ethos Books’ pop-up bookstore at Old Airport Road Food Centre. From 4–6 August, Ethos Dreams will be stocking only The Singapore I Recognise, and I’ll be there on Saturday and Sunday to sign books. 

These are the times I’ll be there:
Saturday, 5 August: 2pm – 4pm
Sunday, 6 August: 2pm – 4pm

The first 200 copies at the pop-up will come with a limited edition book jacket. After 6 August, the only way to get a copy of The Singapore I Recognise (with the limited edition book jacket) is to preorder from Ethos Books or participating bookstores (Kinokuniya Bookstores, Grassroots Book Room, City Book Room, The Book Bar, Wormhole or Epigram Bookshop), and wait for your books to arrive after 31 August!

Until then, I’ll be at home trying to figure out how I should actually sign my name because I’ve never done such serious Book Signing before 😅 The ideal vibe is ‘sophisticated elegance, yet also fun and accessible’. The reality is that I’m probably just going to give up and write my name more or less like I usually do. But you won’t find out unless you come to Ethos Dreams! 😛


To receive more thoughtfully-penned weekly letters freshly delivered to your mailbox, subscribe to Attunement here: