Man at His Best

No Obstacle Will Hinder The Release Of Jeremy Tiang's Debut Novel

The best SGD12,000 that the NAC could have spent on.

BY Wayne Cheong | Aug 17, 2017 | Books

Look, the National Arts Council (NAC) has every right to dole out or retract their grant monies. They are, after all, a statutory authority set up by the big G so they still have to fall in line with official policies. So, is it any wonder why they’d renege on further disbursements on Jeremy Tiang’s debut novel about the leftist movement in Singapore? But no matter, if the story is meant to emerge, it will find its way to the pages and, for Tiang, he, nevertheless, finished his book, State of Emergency.

Focused on the leftist campaign and its eventual political detentions, we follow the trials and the tribulations of a family embroiled in the political soup of the ’40s until the present-day. Mixing in real-life episodes like the Hock Lee bus riots and Operation Spectrum, Tiang weaves an engaging narrative that highlights both sides of Singapore history. The book has already garnered positive reviews and, if we were to take a page from history, NAC’s grant retraction might bring the same sort of attention to State of Emergency as it did to Sonny Liew’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye.

State of Emergency is available at Kinokuniya Singapore, the Epigram Books website and other fine bookstores.