A schoolboy time travels in a strange old shop house. A child with Down’s Syndrome is run over chasing a balloon seller. An older sister tightly slaps her theatrical younger sister. A soul fatally forgets its wayang performer owner. With his signature minimalistic style, Arthur Yap simultaneously perplexes readers with stories of seemingly plotless ambiguity, yet draws them in with familiar characters playing out situations that still resonate in twenty-ﬁrst century Singapore. The volume marks the recovery and ﬁrst combined publication ofthe stories of Arthur Yap, one of Singapore’s most accomplished and important writers. A hitherto neglected facet of Yap’s opus, his eight short stories are deceptive in their simplicity, housing within their sparse prose a complex engagement with Singapore society. Angus Whitehead’s introduction highlights literary nuances in the stories and frames them within the wider backdrop of social change of Singapore at the time of Yap’s writing. The meticulous critical apparatus make this book of interest to not only the general reader but also students of Singapore and Southeast Asian literature in English. Edited by Angus Whitehead, an Assistant Professor at the National institute of Education (Nanyang Technological University) in Singapore.
“Arthur Yap’s manner slides surreptitiously between detachment and an undermining sense of ironic understatement, as he exposes the half-truths, even the utter void, existing at the heart of human interactions…” — Cyril Wong, author of “Tilting Our Plates to Catch the Light”
About the author: Arthur Yap (1943-2006) is one of Singapore’s most important poets. He was also a painter and a writer of short stories. In 1983, he was awarded the Cultural Medallion for his contributions to literature in Singapore.