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Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

W.O.W Classics: Vanessa Chan on Wong May

In this video, part of the W.O.W (Women on Women) Classics project, Vanessa Chan shares more about “A Bad Girl’s Book of Animals” (1969), a book of poetry by Wong May. Vanessa was mentored by award-winning writer Elaine Chiew.

W.O.W Classics is an effort by ArtsEquator and Chiew to introduce literary classics written by Singaporean women to a new generation of readers, allowing them the space to read works that are new to them, develop their analytical skills and make a video where they can share that experience with others. This digital video showcase features young Singaporean women (aged 18-22) introducing Southeast Asian literary classics written by women, many of which may not form part of a broader popular literary discourse or is a neglected classic.

Vanessa is a Year 2 Arts Business Management student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic that occasionally reviews books on Instagram (@mango.reads). Her sister accuses her of “appropriating introvert culture” by reading in the most extroverted ways possible, joining and starting book clubs. She co-hosts an online regional bookclub (@literasea.bookclub), spreading love for Southeast Asian literature in English. Other passions include community/inclusive arts practices and place-making.

W.O.W (Women on Women) Classics is organised with the support of Tote Board Arts Fund. Check out the other videos in this series here.

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