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Meeting in the Middle: Asian Women in Focus
Fri 31 March 2017, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM SGT
Consider the word 'intersection'. It is a point where multiple things meet and overlap. We ourselves are living intersections – we are the sum of the different aspects of our cultures and our lived experiences, and sometimes more than that. But some intersections are less visible than others. For instance, how much do we know about the women writers within our region, and what they write about? What can we do about this lack of exposure and conversation?
Let's create space to talk about it.
In collaboration with The Select Centre and in celebration of International Women's Day, we'll be spotlighting women – not women as a whole, but women coming from diverse intersections within our region – and having a book exchange to boot!
Jinat Rehana Begum (author of First Fires), Krishna Udayasankar (author of 3), and Noelle Q. de Jesus (author of Blood Collected Stories) will be coming together to share the inspirations behind their stories, as well as the stories of women across the cultures of our region. Join us as we take a walk through the diversity of women's experiences in Asia, travel across our intersections of similarities and differences, and ultimately meet in the middle.
Participate in a specially (and personally) curated book exchange:
Discover new books, magazines, or zines which feature inspiring female Asian character(s) or speak meaningfully about women’s experience in Asia by exchanging one of your recommended books with someone else's. (The authors will also be bringing their books to exchange with you!)
Don't worry about giving your beloved reads away forever – just strike up a friendship with the person you're exchanging your books with and return your books to one another after you've finished reading them! (:
The first 12 people to post a photo of the book you receive on Instagram will get $20 worth of #BuySinglit vouchers on-the-spot! (Do tag @theselectcentre and @ethosbooks)
Selected SingLit books will also be on sale at the event, so expect to go home with more than one addition to your reading list!
Contribute to our month-long zine project #Intersections
Ethos Books will be running a month-long zine project called 'Intersections', chronicled in two volumes (i) Family and (ii) Culture. The zine will be collecting #micronarratives (what we call small but meaningful personal stories) through people’s contributions at our events and sales.
Get a chance to flip through the zine to look at the diverse stories and experiences of people, and add your own story to it as well! (Write! Draw! Doodle!)
About the Authors:
Jinat Rehana Begum has taught Literature and English in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Singapore. Jinat studied early nineteenth-century novel reception for her doctorate at the University of York and retains a fascination for the many ways readers shape writers. She began scribbling poetry on the back of used envelopes as a teenager and started to experiment with prose when she bought her first computer. First Fires (Ethos Books, 2015) is her first novel. Inspired by Neighbourhood, a single by British indie rock band Space, her next project is a collection of stories about the residents of a high-rise apartment in Singapore.
Krishna Udayasankar’s bestselling debut series of mytho-historical novels, The Aryavarta Chronicles (Govinda, Kaurava and Kurukshetra; Hachette 2012, 2013, 2014) have received critical acclaim. She is also the author of 3 (Ethos Books, 2015), a novel based on the myths and legends surrounding the founding of Singapore; Objects of Affection, a full-length collection of poetry (Math Paper Press, 2013); an editor of Body Boundaries: The Etiquette Anthology of Women’s Writing (The Literary Centre, 2013). Her latest book is Immortal – a contemporary fantasy-adventure novel that is “part American Gods, part Indiana Jones.” She is the current Writer-in-Residence at Fort Canning National Park, Singapore, and her short fiction and poetry also feature in many print and online anthologies.
Krishna holds an undergraduate degree in law and a PhD in strategic management. She lives in Singapore with her family, which includes three bookish canine-children, Boozo, Zana and Maya, who are sometimes to be found at her laptop, trying to make her writing better.
Noelle Q. de Jesus was born in the US, grew up in Manila, and spent most of her adult life as a writer, wife and mother in Singapore. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in English Literature from Ateneo de Manila University.
Noelle has published short stories in literary journals and anthologies in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and the US. She wrote a chicklit novel, Mrs MisMarriage (Marshall Cavendish International 2008) under her married name, Noelle Chua. And she conceptualized the literary anthology series Fast Food Fiction Short Short Stories To Go (Anvil Publishing Philippines, 2003, 2014). She is currently working on a second collection of short fiction and her first novel.
Her first book of short fiction, Blood Collected Stories, was published by Ethos Books Singapore in 2015 and it won the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Award for the Short Story. At the moment, she is working simultaneously on a second collection of short fiction and her first novel.
She is married to Nathaniel Chua and they have a daughter and a son.
About the Moderator:
Jennifer Kwan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2016 with a B.A. (Hons.) and is the resident feminist of Ethos Books. You've probably seen (or heard) her recommending books at some of their book sales. As an undergraduate, she majored in English Language and pursued a Minor in Gender Studies. The two go hand in hand for her as plural narratives can represent and make visible the perspectives that have been sidelined in broader society. Stories are bridges towards understanding these diverse experiences, and Jennifer strongly believes that this can be done without resorting to stereotypes or speaking for others. People ask her why she's passionate about the accessibility of halal food and she takes these as opportunities to talk. A lot.