Book of the Week: A Life in Words
As we begin a new year with new resolutions that we aim to accomplish (hopefully/perhaps/fingers crossed), we could get some inspiration from a person who has, in her life, accomplished quite a bit.
We're talking about Tham Yew Chin, better known by her pen name, You Jin. Among her achievements: receiving the Singapore Chinese Literary Award, the Montblanc-NUS Centre for the Arts Literary Award, and the biggie – the Cultural Medallion for her contributions to Singapore’s literary arts scene.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT? Well, it documents not only You Jin’s career as a writer but her early life as well – growing up in Malaysia, moving to Singapore and so on. Her life story is broken into bite-sized anecdotes that anybody will find easy to follow.
IS HER LIFE INTERESTING? Well, her dad was with the Resistance in World War II. Forget Poe Dameron, You Jin’s father was a member of the famed Force 136, Lim Bo Seng’s resistance unit that fought against the Japanese military.
Her mother may have come from a well-to-do family, but she was determined to make it without financial assistance from her parents.
As a reporter, You Jin once ran into trouble when wrote an article exposing some of the underhanded tactics of trishaw riders in Singapore. Angered by the story, they arrived at the newspaper office to confront her. Concerned for her safety, she had to wait for hours before a colleague sent her home.
ANYTHING ELSE? Well, yes. Plenty, in fact. But you’ll have to get the book if you want to know more!