World Book Day: Hit Up These Places For A Literary Tour Of Singapore
STORY: Diane Lam
23 April 2022
Food tours, heritage tours, and cafe tours are common pasttimes in Singapore. But have you ever though of embarking on a literary tour of the island?
Thanks to a new Instagram guide created by Sing Lit: Read Our World, in collaboration with local photographer Darren Soh, you can now visit locations that are prominently featured in local literature.
So to celebrate World Book Day today (April 23), as well as the fact that we can explore most of these places without wearing masks, here are some the places you can check out, as well as the books that they've appeared in:
📍 Tanglin Halt
Featured in: Dream Storeys, by Clara Chow
Blurb: "A shopping mall self-destructs, and a single mother vanishes. A tree house for orphans and old folks is torn apart by an act of mercy. The Singapore Flyer is reinvented as a political prison. In this collection of nine tales, Clara Chow examines an alternative Singaporean landscape—one that exists only on paper—and the people we might be in it. "
📍Bukit Ho Swee
Featured in: Spider Boys, by Ming Cher
Blurb: "In the 1950s, the street boys of Singapore caught and bet on their wrestling spiders, gaining not only money but also power and prestige as they won. Backgrounded against age-old vices, superstitions, urban legends, as well as a dangerous world of youth gangs and a tumultuous period in Singapore’s history, Spider Boys is a moving and sensual story that draws the reader into turning its pages as if by a beguiling, hypnotic force, alternating arousing and repelling him."
📍 Macritchie Reservoir
Featured in: '𝘚𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬 𝘚𝘢𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘭𝘰𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘊𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘔𝘢𝘤𝘙𝘪𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘦', by A.J. Low
Blurb: "In the sixth book of this series, Sherlock Sam encounters his most important mystery yet! His classmate has gone missing at MacRitchie Reservoir, and no one can find him. Fearing the worst, Officer Siva refuses to let the Supper Club help, but there’s never been a mystery Sherlock, Watson and their friends could ignore!"
Featured in: Beauty Queens of Bishan, by Akshita Nanda
Blurb: "In Bishan, the busiest suburb of Singapore, thirteen small beauty parlours co-exist quietly, offering haircuts, bikini waxes and facials at no-nonsense prices. All that changes when a swanky new salon opens. D’Asthetique (Beauty is Skin Deep) is run by April Chua, the stylist to the stars."
Read our review of Beauty Queens of Bishan here
📍Keong Saik Road
Featured in: 17A Keong Saik Road, by Charmaine Leung
Blurb: "17A Keong Saik Road recounts Charmaine Leung’s growing-up years on Keong Saik Road in the 1970s when it was a prominent red-light precinct in Chinatown in Singapore. An interweaving of past and present narratives, 17A Keong Saik Road tells of her mother’s journey as a young child put up for sale to becoming the madame of a brothel in Keong Saik. Unfolding her story as the daughter of a brothel operator and witnessing these changes to her family, Charmaine traces the transformation of the Keong Saik area from the 1930s to the present, and through writing, finds reconciliation."
Featured in: Mount Emily (Book 1), by Low Ying Ping
Blurb: While digging around their school’s backyard in search of an urbanlegend, Patsy Goh and her best friend Elena are whisked back in time to 1987. Trapped in their mums’ 13-year-old bodies, the duo race against the clock to hunt down the magical time crystal that got them in this mess, before the evil Midnight Warriors find it and cause a time crisis that could destroy all of existence.