Playing Against Type

It might be a bit premature to compare expat Singaporean author Lau Siew Mei to Gabriel García Márquez, but her first novel, Playing Madame Mao, is certainly evocative of the Nobel laureate's One Hundred Years of Solitude. Lau's work is also one of the best novels ever written about Singapore.

Original, inventive and breathtakingly brave, Playing Madame Mao wrestles with dangerous topics by plunging into one of the most controversial periods of Singapore's past—the 1987 communist purge during which 22 people were imprisoned without trial for subversion by the Internal Security Department. Into this historical set piece Lau...

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