Read! Fest 2018

Can Singapore Literature Lighten Up?

Saturday, 23 June
2.30pm to 3.30pm
Central Public Library
Multi-Purpose Room, National Library Board, 100 Victoria Street

Is there a dearth of humour fiction in SingLit? Join us in a hopefully light-hearted discussion moderated by Gwee Li Sui with novelists Adrian Tan (The Teenage Textbook), Imran Hashim (Annabelle Thong) and Suffian Hakim (Harris Bin Potter) as we look at this uniquely Singaporean predicament and discuss the craft of writing stories that make Singaporeans laugh.

Adrian Tan


Adrian Tan is a post-independence Singaporean lawyer who has grown up with the nation. He is the author of The Teenage Textbook and other works that document aspects of Singapore life. He helped create the award-winning TV series The Pupil (about life in a Singapore law firm) and the box-office hit Homecoming starring Jack Neo (about celebrating Chinese New Year in this part of the world). He is a litigator with TSMP Law Corporation, specialising in technology and en bloc disputes, among other things.

Imran Hashim


Imran first studied French at the National University of Singapore and later went on to pursue his postgraduate studies in Paris. His time in the City of Lights provided the inspiration for his first novel Annabelle Thong, which was longlisted for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize 2015. Imran’s favourite authors include Jane Austen, Sue Townsend, Helen Fielding and Sophie Kinsella. He is currently working for a British university, and doesn’t know why he loves funny English women so much.

Suffian Hakim


Suffian Hakim woke up one day and realised that he had inadvertently become an adult. In the ensuing panic, he began a career in writing. His debut novels, Harris bin Potter and the Stoned Philosopher and The Minorities, have established Suffian as an emerging powerhouse in Asia’s literary scene, with The Straits Times describing him as “undoubtedly one of the most whimsical, creative and unpretentious young voices in Singapore literature”. Before finding success as an author, Hakim lent his ideas to television shows such as Random Island and The Noose, local publications Esquire and August Man, and brands such as StarHub and Johnnie Walker.

Gwee Li Sui


Gwee is a poet, a graphic artist, and a literary critic. His poetry includes Who Wants to Buy a Book of Poems? (1998), One Thousand and One Nights (2014), The Other Merlion and Friends (2015), and Death Wish (2017). Gwee has edited several acclaimed literary anthologies and lectured on a vast range of subjects. He has also written FEAR NO POETRY!: An Essential Guide to Close Reading (2014) and Spiaking Singlish: A Companion to How Singaporeans Communicate (2017).