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mtw1tter

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The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume One

The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume One - Jason Erik Lundberg, Ann Ang, Yu-Mei Balasingamchow, Felix Cheong, Dave Chua, Justin Ker, Koh Choon Hwee, Karen Kwek, Wei Fen Lee, Amanda Lee Koe, Vinita Ramani Mohan, Eleanor Neo, Ng Yi-Sheng, O. Thiam Chin, Alvin Pang, Phan Ming Yen, Alfian Sa'at, Verena Tay, Jeremy Tian It is unfortunate when the editor for a major book design/publishing company compiles an anthology of short stories - he is forced to choose the usual suspects from the tiny pool (4-5) book publishing companies of which he also has a hand in, as an editor/writer AND it doesn't help either that three of his short stories are included in this collection, on the insistence of his publisher boss (he has explained that in the preface to the collection with disclaimers)

Epigram is obviously in for the long haul since this collection has been labelled as "Epigram Books Collection" (staking name rights/claims) and numbering this collection as "Volume One"

But there seems to be a problem with the Opening titles - "Best New" - Can the best be new and the new be the best? That is the problem with trying to form a canon of literary work from new works. They haven't stood the test of time and in all honesty the collection in this "Best New" collection is marginally good at best.

There are common threads running through the backgrounds of most of the writers chosen for this collection in that most of them are anointed by the University of Iowa Writing Workshop. Which oddly enough, gives a sameness to all their short stories.