[Upcoming Release] A Bad Girl's Book of Animals by Wong May

Preorders open on 13 February 2023.

A Bad Girl's Book of Animals

by Wong May

The original cover when first published in 1969. Stay tuned for the new cover!

About the book

This March, we are excited to reissue the debut book of poetry by 2022 Windham-Campbell Prize Winner Wong May, titled A Bad Girl’s Book of Animals, now with an enlightening and deeply personal foreword by Tse Hao Guang and a refreshed cover.

Wong May’s poems are concerned with the ultimate loneliness, the inarticulateness and the inability to communicate fully that are the marks of human life. “My poems,” says Wong May, “are about wordlessness rather than words. I feel that we must recognize our ultimate wordlessness.”

First published in the US in 1969, and reissued in Singapore 54 years later, A Bad Girl’s Book of Animals continues to astound, intrigue, and endure. 


"What is most impressive about Wong May’s poems is her mastery of the implicit, her marvelously effective elliptical style that nevertheless strikes sharp blows of beauty and clarity."

–Harcourt, Brace & World (1969)


"I looked for the animals in A Bad Girl’s Book of Animals, eventually realizing that the poems are the animals. Vivid, evasive, brutally intelligent, and driven by the heat of instinct, the poems baffle, inviting readers to reflect on their unease."
–Jennifer Chang, New England Review


"Wong May’s startlingly original poetry gleams with wit; her delicate but acute irony balances its lucid seriousness with a fizzing verbal lightness."
–Windham Campbell Prize


"Wong May has been a ghost in Singapore’s poetic canon, and as writers and readers have dug more deeply into our literary history, we rediscovered Wong May, who was hitherto barely known, yet right there from the beginning."
–Daryl Lim Wei Jie, Asian Books Blog


"Reading Wong May's poems is really reading her, as a poet, as a person [...] this transnational poet who frustrates our very Singaporean desire to fit things into boxes and see things in binaries. She asserts this right to be an individual, to be opaque in a world that demands ease and access from women."

–Vanessa Chan, Arts Equator