Novel about a teacher who meets a woman from his past who is homeless praised for its sensitivity
Singapore’s richest literary prize went yesterday to first-time novelist Yeoh Jo-Ann.
The 36-year-old, a client operations director with a digital marketing agency, won the $25,000 Epigram Books Fiction Prize for her manuscript, Impractical Uses Of Cake, in which a man has his life turned upside down after he finds a woman from his past homeless and living in a cardboard box.
“It is a very unusual novel for the sensitivity and tact with which it handles a very complex human situation with a very interesting narrator and an even more interesting female protagonist. It reveals a whole side of Singapore that many people in Singapore may not be aware of, with a dry sense of humour and a deep understanding of human difficulties and the problems faced by Singapore as an urban centre,” said Professor Rajeev S. Patke, director of the humanities division at Yale-NUS College, who was one of the judges.