This site is dedicated to Starry Island: New Writing from Singapore, the summer 2014 issue in the MĀNOA series of international literature. Published since 1989 by the University of Hawai‘i Press, the series has featured the writing of such places as Cambodia, Cascadia, French Polynesia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Nepal, New Zealand, Okinawa, Pacific South America, Russian Far East, Taiwan, Tibet, and Viet Nam. The writers, translators, reviewers, guest editors, and artists in the series are indexed at our contributors’ site.
In 2015, Singapore celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its independence. From its founding as a British colony with no natural resources, the country has transformed itself into one of the most urbanized and prosperous nations in the world. Just as remarkable is the harmonious diversity of the people who identify themselves as Singaporeans—a fusion of ethnicities, languages, religions, and places of origin.
Starry Island presents essays, fiction, and poetry by two dozen contemporary writers whose stories of Singapore express the complex tensions and interconnections of this anomalous, confounding, and paradoxical society. These fresh and accomplished works range from meditative essays to magical realist fiction and lyric poetry.
Contributors include Yu-Mei Balasingamchow, Kim Cheng Boey, Shelly Bryant, Grace Chua, Dan Ying, Jeffrey Greene, Philip Jeyaretnam, Khoo Seok Wan, Amanda Lee Koe, Jee Leong Koh, Desmond Kon, Karen Kwek, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Julia C. Lin, Nicholas Liu, Jason Erik Lundberg, Christopher Mooney-Singh, Eleanor Neo, Ng Yi-Sheng, O Thiam Chin, Wena Poon, Alfian Sa’at, Jeremy Tiang, Toh Hsien Min, Wang Xinlei, Cyril Wong, Wong Yoon Wah, and Jerrold Yam.
The volume includes photographs of Singapore’s spectacular contemporary architecture and portraits of early twentieth-century Chinese and Peranakan families.
Our thanks to the following for helping to make possible the publication of Starry Island.