The First Five: A New Collection of Southeast Asian Writing

This anthology of poetry and short stories marks another milestone in the literary tradition of Southeast Asia and co-operation among its publishing community. There were five founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1967—Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand—and this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the establishment of this regional grouping.

The publishers believe that the literature of Southeast Asia is a rich mine of creativity and that the peoples of this region should be invited to share their stories and poems with one another. These two genres are more readily accessible to readers who wish to take a quick dip into the literatures of their neighbors. And the English language, being the de facto lingua franca for all of us, has been chosen for the same reason.

The other four publishers involved with this publication are Ateneo de Manila University Press, Philippines; Buku Fixi, Malaysia; Silkworm Books, Thailand and Yayasan Pustaka Obor, Indonesia.

About the Content


Angelo R. Lacuesta, Not Like Us
Clara Chow, Treehouse
Dean Francis Alfar, This is the Story
Faisal Oddang (tr. by Dr. Andjarwati Sadik), Sawerigading Came from the Sea
Hanna Rambe, Mrs. Naryo Got A Shock
Nizam Shadan, Fantaghiro, Broery and the Wrath of Jonathan Sumpin
Pahd Pasiigon, Authors’ Wing
Pongwut Rujirachakorn, A Dying Business
Teo Yi Han, Nesting in the Crevice of a Human Ribcage
William Tham Wai Liang, Kakak 


Alfred A. Yuson, Populism
Alina Rastam, Pantun
Bernice Chauly, 1973
Diana Rahim, Fist
Hanna Francisca, A Letter To A Hero: Beijing Duck; The Poet
Ibnu Wahyudi, Affection; Meeting Notes
Jerome Kugan, Joy
Loh Guan Liang, Paraplegic
Marjorie M. Evasco, Quicksand
Mookie Katigbak Lacuesta, It Was Autumn Or Fall Or Whatever
Oh Pey Pey, Totem
Ricardo M. de Ungria, A Tale for this Mountain
Sithuraj Ponraj, Gaps
Theophilus Kwek, Chinese Workers on the Evening Train



The First Five: A New Collection of Southeast Asian Writing

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Chan Wai Han


Angelo R. Lacuesta, Clara Chow, Dean Francis Alfar, Faisal Oddang, Hanna Rambe, Nizam Shadan, Pahd Pasiigon, Pongwut Rujirachakorn, Teo Yi Han, William Tham Wai Liang, Alfred A. Yuson, Alina Rastam, Bernice Chauly, Diana Rahim, Hanna Francisca, Ibnu Wahyudi, Jerome Kugan, Loh Guan Liang, Marjorie M. Evasco, Mookie Katigbak Lacuesta, Oh Pey Pey, Ricardo M. de Ungria, Sithuraj Ponraj, Theophilus Kwek