Frog Under a Coconut Shell by Josephine Chia | Sing Lit Book Club

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Join Josephine Chia as we read her nostalgic memoir of old Singapore in the 1950s and 60s.

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This programme/event is open to members of the National Library Board, Singapore. Please ensure you have your myLibrary username on hand before proceeding with the registration. If you do not have a myLibrary username, you can create one here:

About the Programme

Join us at Singapore Literature Book Club as we discuss the recently published anthology Frog Under a Coconut Shell. This will be an interactive session, please come prepared to discuss the book and share your thoughts!

About the Book

The title of this non-fiction book is from a Malay idiom, Katak Bawah Tempurong. The frog who lives under the coconut shell thinks that the coconut shell is its entire world. It is a reference to the author’s own mother, who although herself uneducated and living a parochial existence in a kampong or Malay village, believed in and struggled for a greater vision - the right to educate her daughter. The book is a testament to the love and courage of a mother that changed the life of her daughter forever. The idiom also refers to the author who was like a frog under a coconut shell in the small world of the kampong.In part, the book is a nostalgic memoir of old Singapore in the 1950s and 60s which will tug at the emotional strings of those who have been out there. The book also paints in heartwarming detail, the author’s mother’s journey from the bloom of youth to her affliction with Alzheimer’s disease.

Available on OverDrive:

About Josephine Chia

Josephine Chia’s writing focuses on her Peranakan culture and her Kampong Potong Pasir upbringing. In 2014, she won the Singapore Literature Prize for her memoir, Kampong Spirit Gotong Royong, Life in Potong Pasir 1955 to 1965. Her third novel, When a Flower Dies, was published in 2015. Her memoir, Frog Under a Coconut Shell has been translated into Bahasa Indonesia. Goodbye My Kampong, Potong Pasir, 1966 to 1975, the sequel to Kampong Spirit, was published in 2018.

About Singapore Literature Book Club

From NLB’s Singapore collection comes a book club with a unique local flavour. Discuss books by both well-known and emerging Singaporean authors touching on topics close to home. Get acquainted with local literature and discover national literary treasures right here at the libraries.

Online Programme/Event Administrative Information

·       This programme is conducted entirely online. You may access Zoom via the app or using a web browser

·       Please ensure that you enter a valid email address as you will receive an email with the link to the online programme/event near the day of the programme/event

·       The link of the programme should not be shared with others

·       Do ensure you have a strong internet connection. Using your mobile data is not recommended

The National Library Board, Singapore (NLB) reserves the right in its absolute discretion to disqualify or refuse admission to any registrant without any reason and notice

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The National Library Board (NLB) manages a network of 27 public libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. NLB promotes reading, learning and information literacy by providing a trusted, accessible and globally-connected library and information service through the National Library and a comprehensive network of Public Libraries.

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