Review: More Than Half The Sky: Creative Writings By Thirty Singaporean Women

Reviewer: Adey Tan

Women comprise half of the human race; Singaporean women represent nearly half the nation’s population. Constituted differently from men, women are likely to be shaped by different kinds of experience, probably perceive things differently from men, and consequently, probably place different emphases on living… what women are thinking and writing today may provide valuable insights into the issues which affect us all in our lives. They are of interest and significance not just to women, but to men as well. – Leong Liew Geok

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It being a comprehensive anthology comprising works written by thirty different women, More Than Half The Sky provides insight into the unique perspectives and insights that Singaporean women possess with regards to the reality we perceive. Offering a variety of pieces including prose, poetry and plays, it makes for a pleasant read, whatever genre of literature one might prefer.

The works included in the anthology range from humorous, to tragic, to ‘so breathtaking I needed to sit down and reconsider my entire existence from this point forward’. One has the luxury to enjoy anything from short poems – such as Angeline Yap’s lighthearted Memo that leaves one chuckling and shaking their head, and Lin Hsin Hsin’s A Woman’s Place, a delightfully written play on words that speaks frankly on the plight of women in today’s tides and times – to excerpts from larger works of fiction, like Rebecca Chua’s Separate Lives and Ovidia Yu’s The Mother & The Muscle & The Making of Love, which explore the complexities of relationships between women and the tenuous bonds of family and friendship; they are a study in human nature, in how the world works, and a good look into the psyches of men, women, and all variations thereupon alike.  

Most importantly, More Than Half The Sky leaves its reader evaluating the state of our society, within the country and beyond it. What do we prize? What do we value? Where do we stand? The stories told within invite us to consider these questions, and they are not as easily answered as they might seem.

LLG - MTHTS

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