David Leo

David Leo grew up in Singapore and, although his parents were not wealthy, considers himself blessed with a happy childhood. Leo has published works in both fiction and poetry. His short story “Soup of the Day” (from News At Nine), retitled “Bakut Teh”, was one of four works by local writers commissioned by the NAC to be made into a short film under the Utter banner for Singapore Writers Festival 2013, produced by Objectifs. Two other stories were included in MediaCorp’s award-winning The Singapore Short Story Project: “Picnic” (from Wives, Lovers & Other Women) and “The Story of a Good Man” (from The Sins of the Fathers & Other Stories).


Books by David Leo

 

A coming-of-age story set in 1950s Singapore, written with photorealistic clarity. Skinny and his friends grow up in a self-sufficient kampong along an unnamed road. Reading about their lives, a distinctive character of their long-gone childhood and of Singapore emerges—raw from a recently concluded war, alive with student riots and social movements.

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Women and the woman’s place in a predominantly male world – as if God’s creation of Eve was an afterthought – are the focus in this award-winning collection of 15 short stories by David Leo. Misunderstood wives, women trapped by marriage and women caught in affairs with married men often are not treated fairly. 

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Ubin Dreaming, as the title suggests, is in part inspired by the Arvon workshop organised by The Literary Centre and the National Arts Council. It reflects the literary aspirations of a still young nation – a dream that is continually forming and broken.

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• Ah... the Fragrance of Durians and Other Stories was first published in 1993, and in that same year was awarded the Publishers Prize for fiction. The stories – filled with life’s many ironies – are told with remarkable credibility because they are about people whom we know too well or think we know in our very own real life experiences.

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What makes us uniquely Singaporean? Is it the way we speak, dress, work, play, spend our money and time? Or is there more? In Life's So Like Dat, Leo takes a dig at not just the Singaporean manner of speech but also the recognisable traits of Singaporean life. Together with David Liew's illustrations, this light-hearted collection of observations and thoughts is simply a celebration of a nation emerging with an identity of its own.

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One Journey, Many Rivers
 
is a collection of quiet and contemplative verse as David Leo mourns the passing of his father. It explores the intricacies of a father-son relationship. Illustrated subtly with a variety of incidents, this is a sensitive and moving portrayal of a son’s love and respect for his father.

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