Heartland

Heartland Heartland explores the paradox of rootedness and rootlessness facing Singaporeans born after the Japanese Occupation Wing who has just been conscripted is unable to reconcile his future but unwillin

  • Title: Heartland
  • Author: Daren V.L. Shiau
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 418
  • Format: None
  • Heartland explores the paradox of rootedness and rootlessness facing Singaporeans born after the Japanese Occupation Wing, who has just been conscripted, is unable to reconcile his future but unwilling to dwell in the past He finds his own meanings in an intense attachment to his surrounding landscape Yet, as relationships and the years slip by him, Wing is irresistiblyHeartland explores the paradox of rootedness and rootlessness facing Singaporeans born after the Japanese Occupation Wing, who has just been conscripted, is unable to reconcile his future but unwilling to dwell in the past He finds his own meanings in an intense attachment to his surrounding landscape Yet, as relationships and the years slip by him, Wing is irresistibly forced to question his own certainties and the wisdom of the people he values.

    One thought on “Heartland”

    1. Curiosity level: easy to get into, smooth sentences, but pessimistic overall vibe (which serves the book's purpose of life in the "post-Japanese occupation era")Sham, Audrey and Wing are BFFs. They start out happy and optimistic about life and the future, lost in their bubbles of dreams ! However, what happens when the harsh reality of life crashes into your comfort zones? And the people ! They always changeWing is just as lost as many of his peers - in life, in love, in purpose. We are sucked i [...]

    2. Beautiful beautiful book that makes Catherine Lim pale in comparison. (Having read Little Ironies for my Lit Text in Sec 2 and being deeply enthralled with it, this comment was not made lightly).Shiau has done a beautiful job portraying the displacement of a Singaporean born after the tumultous years of nation founding by blurring the definition of Wing's identity, in terms of nationality and biological origins.Who are you when you don't even know where you come from? When even the country is a [...]

    3. A coming-of-age story of a young man who discovers that there are issues of identity to grapple with; even in a city as apparently homogeneously middle-class as Singapore. From his life as a young junior college student to the rite of passage he undergoes when he is enlisted to do National Service in the army for 2 years, Foo Wing Seng has to learn about class differences, subtle as they are, in his social circle as well as in his choice of girlfriends. He is also made to confront his origins in [...]

    4. The book opens with an ode to my favourite fountain (the one at Bugis Junction that makes such neat parabolic curves), and it plays upon those references to little things (1990s) Singaporean: locations, food, language, holidays, school and National Service etc to package a story that feels very Singaporean. I value that exploration of place and identity in literature, and I think that this novel does a decent job at mapping out key areas of concern in the Singaporean psyche. However, I feel like [...]

    5. Truly the quintessential SingLit book. For a Singaporean who grew up in the 80s and 90s, it brings one back to a world of small white paper bus tickets and aspects of Singapore only a heartlander can recall. For a young Millennial Singaporean, it is an exercise in history, right from before the time of that Raja from Palembang. For a non-Singaporean, it is an introduction to everything that makes Singapore, Singapore. Interwoven with a classic growing up tale of a Ghim Moh boy next door as he na [...]

    6. Although I'm only halfway through this gem of a book, I'd like to prematurely recommend this to all my Singaporean friends! (and for those who're interested to learn about Singapore). All that I can say is, a country who doesn't respect and recognise the blossoming crop of literary talents and literary works it has, is a country not fit to be called Home - and I'm glad this book has finally found it's place to be studied in the GCE 'O' Levels examinations for all Singaporean schools. My only wis [...]

    7. A dated coming-of-age novel following another straight Chinese Singaporean male as he wanders aimlessly from junior college to National Service and from girl to girl. Pacing is odd, with strangely placed re-appearances by minor characters, the final third is overly melodramatic and precious little is resolved or changes.

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