Koh Tai Ann


Singapore writing in English goes back a mere forty-five years, and the work of the women writers is of even more recent provenance.1 From the forties to the mid-sixties, anglophone literary works were mostly by male authors as far fewer women than men in Singapore had formal education (let alone an education in English, the language of government and of professional advancement and when during the colonial and immediately post-colonial days primary education was not universal even for males). Furthermore, it was tertiary education which played a crucial, enabling role in literary production for it was not till after the post-war establishment of the University of Malaya in Singapore in 1948 and the appearance of undergraduate magazines that local literary work began to be published in earnest. It followed also that the first anthologies of these early poems and short stories were produced and sponsored, too, by male undergraduates, graduates and male-dominant graduate institutions?



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