6 Books By Local Female Authors To Read On International Women’s Day

Books by Singaporean women, about women—including one approved by Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon Book Club

Photo: Instagram/@reesesbookclubxhellosunshine

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day today than by sinking your teeth into books penned by local female authors that touch on women, both real and fictional? From Balli Kaur Jaswal‘s international bestseller Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows to Loretta Chen‘s Madonnas and Mavericks (and while we wait patiently for Amanda Lee Koe‘s upcoming novel about the occasionally interconnecting lives of three actresses across the 20th century), these books ensure that women are celebrated forever and a day.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Singaporean novelist Balli Kaur Jaswal’s third novel has been translated into multiple international editions, with its film rights already sold, and it was just selected by Reese’s Book Club (yes, that Reese) as its book of the month. Set in London, with its protagonist the daughter of Indian immigrants, it is a book about community, friendship and women’s lives at all ages.

Mother of all Questions

Poet Grace Chia explores womanhood in her third poetry collection, using the female body to touch on themes of home, identity, love, desire and loss.

The Goddess in the Living Room

Our chosen Weekend Read for this week is The Goddess in the Living Room by Latha, winner of the Singapore Literature Prize. • • Translated from Tamil to English, the book begins with the story of Alyssa, who is left with her grandparents on Pulau Ubin as a child and her experience with devastating loss as an adult. Among other stories: A grandmother whose final wish is to carry the kavadi, a wife who wonders if her role is simply to cook for her family according to their needs and desires and a filial daughter caring for her terminally ill mother. • The Goddess in the Living Room is a collection of short stories where the voices of Tamil women in Singapore are given a powerful outlet by Latha. • Get yourself a copy here: https://shop.epigrambooks.sg/products/the-goddess-in-the-living-room

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Award-winning Tamil language writer Latha’s collection of short stories has been translated into English, and with her typically feminist focus, has given a voice to the strengths and struggles of Tamil women in Singapore, one that all mothers and daughters can relate to.

Mum is where the Heart is

Our chosen weekend read for this week is Mum Is Where The Heart Is by the Winner of the Cultural Medallion, You Jin.⠀ ⠀ In this uproarious memoir, You Jin employs her wry, inimitable style to look at the parental life as she grows with her children. Beginning with her first trip back to her in-laws' home in Ipoh, she takes us through nearly three decades to when the youngest of her three children leaves home to study overseas, unflinchingly facing the mistakes she makes along the way and the wisdom she—and they—discover in the process. Equally unafraid to acknowledge her own failings and her children's sometimes surprising insights, You Jin bares some of the deepest emotions found in any of her work, feelings that have grown out of some of the most personal observations and events. Equally unafraid to acknowledge her own failings and her children's sometimes surprising insights, You Jin bares some of the deepest emotions found in any of her work, feelings that have grown out of some of the most personal observations and events.⠀ ⠀ Get yourself a copy here: https://buff.ly/2xxbRuv⠀ ⠀ #weekendread #weekend#EpigramBooks #SingLit #books #book#bookquotes #bookstagram #bookshelf#bookshop#bookstagrammer #bookstore#booksale #bookworm #booklover#bookblogger #booklovers #bookreview#Singapore #BuySingLit #YouJin

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First written in 1996 by Cultural Medallion recipient You Jin, Mum is Where the Heart is was translated into English last year. Funny, poignant and courageous, this memoir takes us across three decades and the roller coaster of emotions that parenthood entails.

Madonnas and Mavericks

Loretta Chen interviews 17 women, many of whom will be familiar to all Singaporeans, in this tribute to those “who have scaled the peaks and thrived in unexpected places.” Chosen for their influence in their respective spheres, the list includes entrepreneurs Cynthia Chua and Tjin Lee, swimmer and Paralympic medalist Theresa Goh, and even the President herself, Madam Halimah Yacob; each of them sharing “intimate stories, career insights and life lessons”.

Caterwaul

Writer and poet Jennifer Anne Champion’s collection of poems is a memoir and scrapbook chronicling her childhood, presented alongside illustrations and photos. Poems like “A is for Epal” and “Grandparents” will resonate with Singaporeans, whether you grew up in Serangoon Gardens or not.

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