The Inlet

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 • The Inlet was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, 2014 (English Fiction category)

A young female Chinese national drowns in a private swimming pool in a wealthy enclave on a resort island just off the Singapore mainland. The house where she is found belongs to one of the wealthiest property developers in Singapore. The ripple effects on everyone affected by the incident – the investigating officer, the homeowner and his nephew, the girl’s family – are examined from their point of view. Based loosely on a true incident, The Inlet explores the social and cultural changes that have washed over Singapore society in recent years.

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The Inlet is also translated into Italian: La Ragazza Del Karaoke is published by Metropoli d'Asia and available here.



The Inlet

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$28.00 SGD

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"The Inlet is a fantastic example of how great Singapore fiction can be. Part mystery, part clear-eyed yet affectionate dissection of Singapore's changing society, The Inlet is a story as gripping as the real-life newspaper headlines the story was culled from. One of the best things about The Inlet is its objectivity. No matter which side the author personally is on when it comes to immigration and the changing social composition of Singapore, she allows different stakeholders a say. The narrative is a polyphonic symphony of their various points of view... Through their different eyes, one pieces together a picture of a Singapore evolving rapidly and unnervingly. Alongside the angst and socio-political commentary, the narrative gains momentum, revving up the thrills as readers slowly unravel what really happened to Ling... it is a journey so fascinating that readers will not only stay on the ride but also beg for another go soon." - Akshita Nanda, The Straits Times

"[Claire Tham] is known for her social critiques and biting observations of human nature. Her past works are characterised by taut writing and the tension between society and the individual, and this novel does not disappoint in those respects. I would even go so far as to say that The Inlet is currently my recommendation for any reader new to Singapore literature, or even to Singapore itself." - Stephanie Ye, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore

“the critical insight into contemporary Singaporean life is penetrating” - Arnapurna Rath, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, India, Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language & Literature

“Tham’s greatest strength in this narrative is the unsentimental depictions: characters’ flaws strike the reader with their rawness. ” - Stephen Hong, Assistant Professor at University of California, Asian American Literature Fans


Claire Tham