Read Local Short Stories in Other Languages With NLB’s New Literary Project 'One Story'
Project will kick off with Dharma’s Chariot by Singapore Literature Prize winner, Sithuraj Ponraj.
One Story, a new project by the National Library Board (NLB), is dedicated to sharing local short stories written by Singaporean authors more widely by making them available in the four official languages in one book. The objective is to create a common literary conversation for everyone, regardless of language, and further foster inter-cultural understanding.
The project will kick off with Singapore Literature Prize winner, Mr Sithuraj Ponraj’s short story, Dharma’s Chariot, which was selected in consultation with NLB’s language advisory committees. As part of One Story, Dharma’s Chariot was translated from Tamil into English, Chinese and Malay in NLB’s single multilingual book titled One Story: Dharma’s Chariot.
The book follows Palaniappan, a cloth merchant, who sells a shipment of defective cloth to his old friend, Jamal in order to pay the rent for his shop in Arab Street. The story offers a glimpse of what life was like for small Indian import and export businesses which prospered in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but gradually declined when technology made their middleman skills obsolete.
The virtual book launch for One Story: Dharma’s Chariot was held on 1 August 2020, 2.00 p.m., on NLB’s Public Libraries Facebook page. The event included welcome remarks by Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive Officer of NLB, as well as a moderated session with Mr Sithuraj Ponraj who shared more about the story, his inspirations and his writing.
One Story: Dharma’s Chariot is currently available for loan at our public libraries and via the NLB mobile app. From 1 August, patrons can also pick up a free copy from our libraries, while stocks last.
From August to October 2020, the public can expect a variety of programmes as part of One Story, ranging from creative writing workshops and book club discussions in all four languages to theatre performances and social media contests. More information on One Story can be found here.
Programme Highlights for Dharma’s Chariot
One Story: Dharma’s Chariot is also the story of this year’s Read for Books Charity Drive, with the intention of raising awareness of reading and sharing the gift of reading with the less privileged. From 11 to 26 July 2020, for every 10 people who read for 15 minutes, one book will be donated to selected beneficiaries.
Readers can expect to see the author, Mr Sithuraj Ponraj visiting some book clubs, and other Singaporean writers and art practitioners facilitating One Story’s public programmes. Hidayah Amin, author of Gedung Kuning: Memories of a Malay Childhood, will be a guest book club facilitator. Teater Artistik will showcase a 2-part forum theatre on NLB’s Malay Language Services Facebook page, where they will be providing alternative storylines for a re-imagining of the story.
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