On Books, With Robert Yeo August 08 2012

We’ve been bringing our readers A Day in the Life of Epigram Books staffers for a while now, so we thought it might be a nice change to give our readers an insight into the minds of our authors!

First up, the brilliant and gentlemanly Robert Yeo, prolific poet and author. A welcome and familiar sight in the office, Mr Yeo has published The Adventures of Holden Heng and The Best of Robert Yeo with Epigram Books.

Without further ado, a very quick Q & A with Robert Yeo on our favourite topic, books!

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His poems are personal poems, reflections on observed reality. They chronicle the developments of an individual consciousness while at the same time they chronicle the developments of Singapore. The parallelism of the poet and the city is unforced but recurrent.
–– Michael Wilding, novelist and Emeritus Professor of English and Australian Literature, University of Sydney.

What was your favourite book growing up?
There were too many, but if I have to give a favourite, it is the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, read when I was probably an adolescent of 14 to 15 years old. I must have been precocious!

What books are currently on your “to-read” list?
What Maisie Knew by Henry James, Confucius by Meher McArthur, Shame by Salman Rushdie, July’s People by Nadine Gordimer.

Who are your top five authors?
Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Michael Wilding (an Australian writer), Ernest Hemingway and Arthur Yap.

Have you ever bought a book just because you thought the cover was beautiful?
No.

If you could pick one book to recommend, which book would it be?
The Analects by Confucius.

Is there a book that changed your life?
No.

What is your favourite line from a book?
The first line from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

What book would you want to read again for the first time?
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

What book or book character would you want to be real?
Hamlet