Tan Mei Ching

Mei Ching Tan writes novels, short stories, plays, and children’s books. Her short story collection, Crossing Distance won a Merit Award in the Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) in 1994 and a Commendation Award in the National Book Development Council of Singapore Book Awards in 1996. She also won first prize for her play, Water Ghosts, and first prizes in the US for her short stories.

She has also received the Young Artist Award for Literature from the National Arts Council of Singapore. With the grant she explored the Canadian wilderness, and emerging from it with her humour intact, wrote her travel narrative, Towards the Blue: Adventures of A City Wimp.

Books by Tan Mei Ching


Myths of the mountains and their spirits pervade stories of Shi Ying’s mysterious origins. Abandoned to die but saved by a villager, Shi Ying is named the “lost child” and taken into a family of fisherfolk. She does not know who her parents are, or who she is. When she befriends a village outcast with whom she feels a strange bond, her journey into the unknown, in search of her parents and her true identity, begins.

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A child’s afternoon of play, a teenager’s notion of pain, one’s understanding of freedom, another’s glimpse of mortality, a young woman’s encounter with her cultural roots, and the individual worlds of the young and old.

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When Mei Ching Tan landed a grant of ten grand, she knew immediately that she could not buy a chocolate factory, so she did what she always dreamt of doing: have the wilderness experience of her life. Plunging headlong into the Canadian wilderness with plenty of toilet paper and insect repellant, Tan, when she was not battling hypothermia and suspect outhouses, explored the rich Native American and Nordic folklore of the Canadian Rockies and Maritime Provinces, and the abundant natural history of the inhabitants.

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