Year published :January 2018

Pages :214 pp.

Size :13 x 20 cm.

ISBN: 9786162151422

First Five, The: A New Collection of Southeast Asian Writing

by Silkworm Books

Edited by Chan Wai Han

This anthology of poetry and prose marks another milestone in the literary tradition of Southeast Asia and co-operation among its publishing community. There were five founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1967— Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand—and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of this regional grouping.

The publishers believe that the literature of Southeast Asia is a rich mine of creativity and that the peoples of this region should be invited to share their stories and poems with one another. These two genres are more readily accessible to readers who wish to take a quick dip into the literatures of their neighbors. And the English language, being the de facto lingua franca for all of us, has been chosen for the same reason. Treat yourself to these stories and poems, some translated from their original tongue, and all no less enjoyable!

The other four publishers involved with this publication are Ateneo de Manila University Press, Philippines; Buku Fixi, Malaysia; Ethos Books, Singapore and Yayasan Pustaka Obor, Indonesia.


  • Leading Southeast Asian literary voices from the five founding countries of ASEAN.
  • Insightful and timely prose and poetry that expresses the contemporary Southeast Asian experience.
  • A regional collaboration between authors and publishers from five countries.
  • A mix of translated literature and original English-language prose and poetry.


Angelo R. Lacuesta, Not Like Us • Clara Chow, Tree House • Dean Francis Alfar, This is the Story • Faisal Oddang (tr. by Dr. Andjarwati Sadik), Sawerigading Came from the Sea • Hanna Rambe, Mrs. Naryo Got A Shock • Nizam Shadan, Fantaghiro, Broery and the Wrath of Jonathan Sumpin • Pahd Pasiigon, Authors’ Wing • Pongwut Rujirachakorn, A Dying Business • Teo Yi Han, Nesting in the Crevice of a Human Ribcage • William Tham Wai Liang, KAKAK


Alfred A. Yuson, Populism • Alina Rastam, Pantun • Bernice Chauly, 1973 • Diana Rahim, Fist • Hanna Francisca, A Letter To A Hero: Beijing Duck; The Poet • Ibnu Wahyudi, Affection; Meeting Notes • Jerome Kugan, Joy • Loh Guan Liang, Paraplegic • Marjorie M. Evasco, Quicksand • Mookie Katigbak Lacuesta, It Was Autumn Or Fall Or Whatever • Oh Pey Pey, Totem • Ricardo M. de Ungria, A Tale for this Mountain • Sithuraj Ponraj, Gaps • Theophilus Kwek, Chinese Workers on the Evening Train


Southeast Asian authors contemporary writing short stories poetry ASEAN literature contemporary Southeast Asia

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