On August 21, 2018, Crazy Rich Asians premiered in Singapore and promptly became the hottest topic in town. Articles started appearing, talking about how the movie was (and wasn’t) a reflection of life in Singapore, ranking the funniest characters and scenes, and, eventually, describing how popular it was becoming. It is now one of the most popular books in the Library, with a long queue to borrow it.

Crazy Rich Asians

Kevin Kwan

Anchor Books, 2013.


This is the 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan that has been made into a Hollywood production, that has thrust Singapore into the limelight on the world stage.

Don’t want to wait? Fret not.

Around two weeks before Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel hit our shores as a Hollywood production, the Singapore Literature Prize 2018 winners were announced. The biennial award put the spotlight on old names and new, highlighting works that are just as delightful and thought provoking. While waiting your turn for the Crazy Rich Asians novel, why not browse for and pick up other titles of Singaporean Literature?

Singapore Literature Prize 2018 Winners

A Field Guide to Supermarkets in Singapore
Samuel Lee
Math Paper Press, 2016

This collection by Samuel Lee is playfully familiar to Singaporeans, but also carries with it a musing quality that invites the reader to reflect.


State of Emergency
Jeremy Tiang
Epigram Books, 2017

Like Jeremy Tiang’s previous novel It Never Rains on National Day, State of Emergency has an irresistible, gripping quality to it that will make you not want to put it down.


Melissa de Silva
Math Paper Press, 2017

Melissa’s writing exposes the painful truth in a way that calls the reader to action, never shying from discomfort, yet with a galvanizing quality to its critique.


In the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, there is a section dedicated to English works of Singapore Literature. Based on the Annotated Bibliography of Singapore Literature in English, the collection is a dedicated space for scholars in NTU who work on the subject, and also doubles as a great introduction and starting point for anyone who wishes to explore more literary works by Singaporeans.

Other Highlights

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye
Sonny Liew
Epigram Books, 2015

The famous graphic novel by Sonny Liew is one of the winning works in the Singapore Literature Prize 2016, and also racked up a veritable record of literary awards from around the world. Like all good satire, it will make you laugh and grimace in turn as it reflects on both the good and the ills of Singapore.

Ministry of Moral Panic : Stories
Amanda Lee Koe
Epigram Books, 2013

Amanda Lee Koe’s book is a collection of witty and thought-provoking short stories, and won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2014. The library’s copy is well used, a testament to its evergreen charm.

Sonnets from the Singlish : Poems
Joshua Ip
Math Paper Press, 2012

Singapore’s literary scene has plenty of talented poets, whose works run the gamut from fun to piercing. Joshua Ip’s poems are a great place to jump into the scene, if you’ve yet to do so.

Drop by the Humanities and Social Sciences Library to find out more!

That’s not all – check out the Book Council Singapore’s site to find out more about the Singapore Literature Prize

Interested in more Singapore heritage? There is also the NUS Singapore/Malaysia Collection you can check out!