Early December in 2018 Epigram had a REALLY REALLY good sale for Christmas
(Hanukkah too IMO) at their HQ office space in Toa Payoh. I decided to kick my hermit ass out of the house one evening to go have a look and see if there was anything I didn’t own yet. Spoiler: there was.
SO MANY BOOKS!!!
The space is HUGE and absolutely TEEMING with books!! I think it’s also used as storage for their catalog which explains why it’s crawling with books.
On this table are all the copies that Epigram published of the journal of south-east asian speculative fiction, AKA Lontar. The first 2 editions were published by Math Paper Press/BooksActually. Since then all copies till their last (10th) were published by Epigram. They are def worth picking up and reading if you enjoy short stores of genre bending fiction set in non-western places!!
On this table is pretty much every copy of Epigram’s collection of Singaporean classic fiction! I have a couple of these, but in true book goblin hoarding form, I have not read them… YET… 😩🙏
In this picture are 2 books that I own! But also! Have. not. read…. OOPS.
– The Gatekeeper: When Ria, a young medusa, accidentally turns her whole village to stone, she and her older sister escape to an underground village full of other marginalized non-humans. She becomes their gatekeeper until her friendship with an above ground dwelling man threatens to ruin everything..
– Kappa Quartet: A young man travelling on holiday in Japan encounters a Kappa demon and through this chance encounter, meets other creatures. Together they ask one another: what does it mean to be in possession of something nobody has seen before?
This table featured the first edition and new 2019 edition of the Eisner winning graphic novel, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew!! I actually have the special limited edition softcover because at the time I thought it was prettier than the first edition lol.. I’m vain with book covers, so sue me.
ANYWAY! Since I didn’t actually buy any of the books I mentioned above that night, I’ll just list the ones I DID buy!!
A man learns that all the animals at the Zoo are robots. A secret terminal in Changi Airport caters to the gods. A prince falls in love with a crocodile. A concubine is lost in time. The island of Singapore disappears.
These are the exquisitely strange tales of Lion City, the first collection of short fiction by award-winning poet and playwright Ng Yi-Sheng. Infused with myth, magical realism and contemporary sci-fi, each of these tales invites the reader to see this city-state in a new and darkly fabulous light.
Meet the four misfits living in one HDB flat. One is a Malay–Jew who is trying to get his father to come back as a ghost. Cantona is a promising Bangladeshi artist on the run from a construction company. Tights is a Chinese illegal immigrant with a Forrest Gump obsession. And Shanti is a gifted Indian lab technician hiding from her abusive husband.
When a forlorn pontianak begins haunting them, the four friends find themselves embroiled in a surreal showdown that may just upend the world, or at least Singapore. Written in Suffian Hakim’s trademark humour, The Minorities is a novel about those living on the edges of society and their soulful bond.
This tenth and final double-sized issue of LONTAR presents speculative writing from and about Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea and Vietnam.
And finally, not featured in my Instagram post from above the read-more at the start, is Plussixfive: a cook-book based on a supper club from London! It’s chock full of nostalgic SG recipes that I thought my sister and her boyfriend would enjoy tackling in their flat for their friends! She’s a better chef than I am and with her boyfriend they manage to cook REALLY well. The edition I got was slightly worn so I got it for super cheap. 😎
I took a photo of this foreword by Tan Hsueh Yun (whose food column my sister and I would read every week in High School), because I felt it rang SO true lol. Hungry Singaporeans abroad really do crazy things for food. ESPECIALLY when we are living there LMAO. One of my close friends who is SG- Indo had a massive shelf in her kitchen with her sister full of just packets of indomee. DEDICATION!!!