Ministry of Moral Panic

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Epigram Books, 2013 - Fiction - 204 pages

Winner of Best Fiction Title for Singapore Book Awards 2016

Winner of the Singapore Literature Prize for Fiction 2014

Longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 2014

Selected by The Business Times as one of the Top 10 English Singapore books from 1965–2015

Meet an over-the-hill Pop Yé-yé singer with a faulty heart, two conservative middle-aged women holding hands in the Galápagos, and the proprietor of a Laundromat with a penchant for Cantonese songs of heartbreak. Rehash national icons: the truth about racial riot fodder-girl Maria Hertogh living out her days as a chambermaid in Lake Tahoe, a mirage of the Merlion as a ladyboy working Orchard Towers, and a high-stakes fantasy starring the still-suave lead of the 1990s TV hit serial The Unbeatables.

Heartfelt and sexy, the stories of Amanda Lee Koe encompass a skewed world fraught with prestige anxiety, moral relativism, sexual frankness, and the improbable necessity of human connection. Told in strikingly original prose, these are fictions that plough, relentlessly, the possibilities of understanding Singapore and her denizens discursively, off-centre. Ministry of Moral Panic is an extraordinary debut collection and the introduction of a revelatory new voice.


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A tour de force of a book with vignettes of Singapore's history, psyche and character.


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Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15

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About the author (2013)

Amanda Lee Koe is a 2013 Honorary Fellow at the International Writing Program, University of Iowa. She is also the fiction editor of Esquire (Singapore), editor of creative non-fiction magazine POSKOD.SG and co-editor of literary journal Ceriph. With Ng Yi-Sheng, she spearheaded and edited Eastern Heathens (Ethos Books), an anthology subverting Asian folklore. Her short fiction has seen publication in anthologies, magazines and literary journals from Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany and the United States.

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