In 2015, Singapore celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of its independence. From its founding as a British colony with no natural resources, the country has been transformed 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 depictions of traditional family life to magical realism and satire.
The summer 2014 issue of MANOA Journal features work by over two dozen writers and translators. Images in the issue come from several sources: the British Library, National Archives of Singapore, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Singapore, and contemporary photographers Nina Papiorek, Salvador Manaois III, Peter Marlow, and Stuart Franklin. Fiona Sze-Lorrain served as guest editor.
Contributing writers include Yu-Mei Balasingamchow, Kim Cheng Boey, Grace Chua, Dan Ying, Jeffrey Greene, Philip Jeyaretnam, Amanda Lee Koe, Jee Leong Koh, Desmond Kon, Khoo Seok Wan, Karen Kwek, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Nicholas Liu, Jason Erik Lundberg, Toh Hsien Min, Christopher Mooney-Singh, Eleanor Neo, Ng Yi-Sheng, O Thiam Chin, Wena Poon, Alfian Sa'at, Cyril Wong, Wong Yoon Wah, and Jerrold Yam. The art in the volume juxtaposes photographs of Singapore's spectacular contemporary architecture with archival portraits of Peranakan Chinese families.