A Certain Exposure:

A Certain Exposure

By Jolene Tan

Published by Epigram Books

Fiction Collections



[Selected by The Straits Times as one of the Best Books of 2014]

[Selected by The Business Times as one of the Best Books of 2014]

[Recommended by the National Library Board, Singapore and Ministry of Communications and Information]

Satirical and sympathetic, political and personal, A Certain Exposure traces the adolescences of twin brothers Andrew and Brian, culminating in the explosive events leading to Andrew’s tragic death. This is a classic coming-of-age tale doubled across two vividly individual brothers, who struggle to navigate a complex tangle of relationships and coercive forces, cinematically interwoven with the yearnings and fears of an ensemble of mothers, fathers, cousins, friends and lovers both false and true. This wide-ranging debut beautifully presents the resonances and the ghosts of lost possibilities, as well as a gripping story of hope and betrayal.


Reader Reviews:

“One of the best debuts of 2014, this sometimes strident but largely effective novel begins with the suicide of a government scholar and proceeds to dissect elitism, racism, homophobia and other taboo topics in Singapore.”
—Helmi Yusof, The Business Times

“[A]n exciting debut novel that delves beneath the surface of Singapore society, questioning the dominant value systems and asking if there’s a better way for us to live.”
—Jeremy Tiang, translator of Durians Are Not the Only Fruit: Notes from the Tropics, in “My Book of the Year”, Singapore Poetry

“Tan holds a merciless mirror to readers' eyes, showing how easily one moves into an accepted and existing pattern of behaviour. A writer to watch.”
—Akshita Nanda,The Straits Times

“Utilising her involvement in AWARE, Singapore’s leading gender equality advocate group, Jolene delves into social issues, like sexism, homophobia, and racism in a manner that painfully hits home.”
—Ang Jia Yun, npTribune

“One of the best novels I’ve read recently…a haunting story about elitism and prejudice in a society which recites daily pledges to maintain equality for all.”
Balli Kaur Jaswal, author of Inheritance

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