Welcome to Issue #4 of SWAG:
proudly entering our second year, to celebrate the Terrible Twos.
I was lucky enough to converse with two authors I admire for this edition of SWAG.
The Singaporean writer, Balli Kaur Jaswal, enjoyed success with two critically-acclaimed books Sugarbread and Inheritance; her third—Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows—takes her off to London and Hollywood. We talk identity, sexuality and movie rights.
Writer and anthropologist Nigel Barley also raises questions of selfhood in his latest novel, Snow Over Surabaya. How did a wee Scottish lassie become a heroine of the Indonesian Revolution? How much of K’Tut Tantri’s story is pure romance? And does it matter?
We review a new release from Ethos Books: in his debut novel, Payoh, local writer Jim Tan uses an avian allegory to question if sanctuary is preferable to freedom. And there’s a double-whammy of stories from Verena Tay in our new fiction section.
Inspired by a favourite childhood fantasy series about adventurous twins, Lucy Day Hobor created a pair of characters who would appeal to a culturally-diverse class of Singaporean kindergartners. We go on a quest to find Someone Like Me.
Meanwhile, over in Jalan Besar, we meet graphic design duo Sarah and Schooling, to find out how two best friends produce the fresh, modern look that defines so much Singaporean literature.
In this edition, we boast a brace of articles for the aspiring writers among us. Helle Sidelmann Norup looks forward to the forthcoming Asian Festival of Children’s Content, while Hana Scheltat investigates how to get published in Singapore.
And if that inspires you to put pen to paper, Jon Gresham invites you to join him in Writing the City.
Hope you have double the fun with SWAG in this Issue #4!
all the best, Jo Furniss