Man/Born/Free: Writings on the Human Spirit From Singapore

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"Through the history of the twentieth century, we have surely all become spiritual children of Nelson Mandela and siblings to South Africa, through whose momentous struggles we find an image for every struggle against discrimination."

-- Gwee Li Sui in the Introduction

"These struggles that often make up the deepest ethical struggles within every human is what I aim to recover here in the modern literature of Singapore. The focus is a unique one: Man/Born/Free stretches across nearly six decades of Singaporean writing in search of various voices from the same literary conscience as they speak out on a range of pertinent and symbolic issues. These issues span from discriminatory social perception and the misuse of power to the loneliness of the imprisoned soul.

The writings have been scattered previously throughout different journals and books, some of which are already long out-of-print. They have been selected and strung together here in a unique way that can describe the many dimensions of the human spirit as it contemplates on its own essential sustenance: freedom and an innate understanding that all humans are born equal."  

-- Gwee Li Sui in his opening address at the launch of the book in Cape Town, South Africa (Gweek Speaks Free in Cape Town

This literary anthology – centred on the travails of the human spirit – is like none other published in Singapore. It testifies to the social reflections of generations of Singaporean writers and their inquiries into issues of freedom, equality, humanity, and hope. The selection brings together works originally written in English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil across almost six decades of Singaporean life. They are arranged here in a compelling way that argues for the inevitable interconnections of these concerns.

Man/Born/Free was an exciting initiative to commemorate the relationship between Singapore and South Africa as extended through the 2011 event, Spotlight Singapore in Cape Town.

View also Gwee Li Sui's opening address at the launch of the book in Singapore - Gweek Speaks Free in Singapore



Man/Born/Free: Writings on the Human Spirit From Singapore

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Gwee Li Sui


Abdul Ghani Hamid, Aflian Sa'at, Amiroudine, Anuar Othman, Boey Kim Cheng, Elangovan, Isa Kamari, Johar Buang, Gilbert Koh, Goh Poh Seng, Gwee Li Sui, Kadayanallur Jameela, Aaron Lee, Lee Tzu Pheng, Catherine Lim, David Leo, Masrui S.N., Mohamed Latiff Bin Mohamed, Ng Yi-Sheng, Alvin Pang, James Puthucheary, Said Zahari, Kirpal Singh, Tan Jing Quee, Edwin Thumboo, Ting Keng Siong, Yeng Pway Ngon