A literary feast

8th February 2021

News, Student news

Singapore’s celebrated food culture is the subject of a new book co-edited by Wadham Graduate student Ann Ang.

  • Ann Ang

    Ann Ang (DPhil English, 2018)

Described as a “smorgasbord of prose and poetry about local food” Food Republic: A Singapore Literary Banquet is an anthology featuring more than one hundred literary explorations of Singaporean food and food culture.

Ann Ang (DPhil English, 2018) is one of three editors who curated the literary anthology, which includes poetry, fiction and non-fiction by 59 authors.

The book talks about how food is a safe space for Singaporeans. “Given how food obsessed we are as a nation we didn’t have a book that pulls together existing literary interpretations of food in Singapore,” she said. “It’s a multi-dimensional, intergenerational anthology – some of the pieces are about the history and heritage of the food but we also wanted to tap into the psychic and emotional terrain of what food means in our lives – food linked to desire, memory and more”.

“There is a way in which food can be very visceral, we eat it, we consume it and we savour it but there is also a very physical and biological dimension to it that some of the authors explore in this anthology,” she adds.

So what is Ann’s favourite food? “One of my favourites (there are simply too many!) is Nasi Lemak, which is coconut rice served with fried anchovies, peanuts, an egg and fried chicken in the luxury version, and the not-to-be-missed sambal chilli, which requires deep kitchen magic to get right. It's a typical Malay breakfast dish, which is also enjoyed as lunch, dinner and supper by everyone. Ann’s poem, Nasi Lemak, is part of the collection.

Food Republic, edited by Ann Ang, Daryl Lim Wei Jie and Tse Hao Guang is published by Landmark Books and available for online orders and home delivery from Foyles in the UK. 

  • Book cover and serving of Nasi Lemak

    Book cover and serving of Nasi Lemak