2016 Program

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

1. LITTLE RED DOT: Singaporean Writers on Literature and Politics
Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 1:00 – 2:30 pm, Stony Brook University, Humanities 1006, Stony Brook, NY.

Alfian Sa’at, Jeremy Tiang, and Ovidia Yu. Moderated by E. K. Tan

Award-winning authors Alfian Sa’at, Jeremy Tiang, and Ovidia Yu read their works and discuss how politics shape their writing, and how their writing, in turn, aims to shape politics. Writers of fiction, drama, poetry, children’s literature, and crime stories, they explore the possibilities in different genres for social commentary and action. Book signing after the event. Free and open to the public.

 

2. (IN)VISIBILITIES: Singaporean and American Writers on Race and Sex (Opening Night)
Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 112 W 27th St, bet. 6th and 7th Avenues, #600, New York, NY. Registration highly recommended.

Alfian Sa’at, Jason Koo, Naomi Jackson, and Ovidia Yu. Moderated by Jennifer Hayashida.

Racial/ethnic identifications are seen as visible, whereas sexual preferences are deemed otherwise. How do writers make visible, or not, such identifications and preferences, and why do they do so? Award-winning authors Alfian Sa’at and Ovidia Yu from Singapore are joined by their American counterparts Jason Koo and Naomi Jackson in a reading of their works (fiction, drama, and poetry) and a discussion of the topic of (in)visibilities. Reception and book signing after the event. Free and open to the public. The event is co-presented by Hunter College’s English Department and Asian American Studies Program.

 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

3. MIXING IT UP: Hybrid Literature in Singapore Today
Thursday, September 29, 2016, 3:00 – 4.30 pm, Adelphi University, University Center Rooms 215/216, Garden City, NY.

Alfian Sa’at, Jason Wee, Jeremy Tiang, and Ovidia Yu. Moderated by Martha Cooley and Craig Carson.

What is a “hybrid” work of literature? Is hybridity a mode of the imagination, a kind of literary practice, an aesthetic orientation, something else? How does it fare in the current Singaporean political climate? What role does Singlish play? This event is a part of the Soapbox Series roundtable discussions. Book signing after the event. Free but open only to Adelphi faculty, staff, and students.

 

4. CROSSING BOUNDARIES: Four Writers on Fictionalizing Southeast Asia (Highlight)
Thursday, September 29, 2016, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue, at 70th Street, New York, NY. Registration highly recommended.

Alfian Sa’at, Gina Apostol, Jeremy Tiang, and Jessica Hagedorn. Moderated by Harold Augenbraum.

Maritime Southeast Asia—comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore—is an extremely heterogeneous region, by virtue of its geography and history. In the ordinary course of living, its peoples cross all kinds of boundaries: political, economic, cultural, linguistic, and even psychic. The region presents unique challenges to the imaginative writer. What constitutes a boundary? How is a boundary negotiated or broken? When does a crossing become a kind of double crossing? Are boundaries, in fact, enfranchising? Four award-winning writers will read their works and discuss their responses to the challenges, Jessica Hagedorn and Gina Apostol on the Philippines, and Alfian Sa’at and Jeremy Tiang on Singapore. Wine reception and book signing after the event. Free and open to the public.

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

5. CONTEXTS AND TEXTS: Writing and Translating in Malaysia and Singapore
Friday, September 30, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 pm, New York University, The Event Space, 1st Floor, 244 Greene Street, New York, NY. Registration highly recommended.

Alfian Sa’at, E. K. Tan, Jeremy Tiang, and Sheela Jane Menon. Moderated by Jini Kim Watson

What are the debates surrounding the writing and translation of literature in multi-lingual Malaysia and Singapore, two countries closely linked through history and geography? How do these debates inform actual and specific translation practices and texts? Scholars of Southeast Asian literature Sheela Jane Menon (Dickinson College) and E.K. Tan (Stony Brook University) will speak on the linguistic, nationalist, and diasporic contexts, with reference to scholars such as Salleh Ben Joned and writers such as Tash Aw, Tan Twan Eng, and Preeta Samarasan. Acclaimed writers-translators Alfian Sa’at and Jeremy Tiang will read and discuss their translation of the novels of Isa Kamari and the essays of Wong Yoon Wah respectively. Part of the 2nd Singapore Literature Festival in NYC, this panel brings together scholars and writers to interrogate questions of linguistic and cultural boundaries. Light lunch and book signing after the event. Free and open to the public. The event is co-presented by Professor Jini Kim Watson and New York University’s English Department.

 

6. THE MUDSKIPPER at The Brearley School’s Book Club
Friday, September 30, 2016, 11:35 – 12:35 pm, The Brearley School, Library, 610 E 83rd Street, New York, NY.

Ovidia Yu.

After her father’s death, ten-year-old Lizhi leaves France for Singapore to meet her father’s family. Will they like her? Will she like them? What will they make of her mixed heritage? Written by award-winning playwright and writer Ovidia Yu, The Mudskipper came in second runner-up for the Scholastic Asia Book Award for its simple yet profound take on embracing our differences. Free but open only to Brearley faculty, staff, and students.

 

7. KILLER WOMEN: Two Countries, Three Cultures, Countless Crimes
Friday, September 30, 2016, 4:30 – 6:00 pm, NYU’s Kimmel Center for University Life, 60 Washington Square South, Room 803, New York, NY. Registration highly recommended.

Ovidia Yu and SJ Rozan. Moderated by Ann Aptaker.

Ovidia Yu is an award-winning playwright and crime writer from Singapore. Her Aunty Lee crime series features an amateur sleuth who is a feisty widow and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home cooking restaurant. She will read from her new book Aunty Lee’s Chilled Revenge (HarperCollins). SJ Rozan, a native New Yorker, has won the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Nero, and Macavity for her crime writing. She is also the recipient of the Japanese Maltese Falcon Award. SJ will read from her work-in-progress Paper Son. Reception and book signing after the event. Free and open to the public. Co-presented by NYU’s Singapore Student Association.

 

8. OUTSIDE THE LINES: Plays by Alfian Sa’at, Marcus Yi, and Ovidia Yu (Closing Night)
Friday, September 30, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, National Opera Center, Marc A. Scorca Hall, 330 7th Ave, bet. 28th and 29th Streets, New York, NY. Registration required. Press release.

Directed by Mei Ann Teo and Marcus Yi. Talkback moderated by Damon Chua.

OUTSIDE THE LINES features staged readings of works by Ovidia Yu (The Woman in a Tree on the Hill), Alfian Sa’at (Hotel), and Marcus Yi (After the Merlion Returned Home). Talkback, reception, and book signing to follow after performance. Free and open to the public.

 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

9. HOW GRAPHIC NOVELS WORK: The Art of The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Highlight)
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Book Culture Bookshop, 536 W 112th Street, bet. Broadway and Amsterdam, New York, NY. Registration highly recommended.

Colin Goh, Matt Humphreys, and Ying Sze Pek. Moderated by Douglas Wolk.

Is Sonny Liew’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye the Great Singaporean Novel? This New York Times and Amazon bestseller has been widely lauded by critics, with some calling it a masterpiece. How did Sonny Liew weave the history of comics and the history of Singapore into a seamless metafictional narrative? Join How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean author Douglas Wolk, art historian Ying Sze Pek, cartoonist and satirist Colin Goh, and former DC comics editor Matt Humphreys in a discussion on the remarkable art behind The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. Refreshments and book signing after the event. Free and open to the public.