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It Never Rains on National Day
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It Never Rains on National Day

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  132 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize 2016 for English Fiction

A woman fleeing her previous existence meets a fellow Singaporean on an overnight train in Norway. A foreign worker is decapitated in an HDB building site accident. A Singaporean wife must negotiate Beijing as her British husband awaits a heart transplant. And in different corners of the world, Singapor
Paperback, 200 pages
Published September 2015 by Epigram Books
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Forty Something
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Crisp, clear and elegant writing, on the themes of escape, travel, interracial relationships, and most importantly, boundaries set by society and oneself.

Indeed, the author wanted to use the German word for “fear of crossing boundaries” as the title of his book. Three cheers for the publisher who prevented this from happening, as it surely would have turned off many potential readers/buyers. It would have been a shame, since this book is a gem which has persuaded me to integrate more Asian liter
Kirat Kaur
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Superb. A riveting set of interconnected stories, mostly but not only about life in Singapore and beyond it, told with precision, genuineness and feeling. Tiang has the short story form down pat - he sucks you in with never-before-told plotlines, and keeps you there with style, substance and, perhaps the hardest to do well - humour. These stories were such fun, and so satisfying, to read. The first two were the weakest in terms of plot, but all are packed with beautifully written off-kilter expe ...more
Li Sian
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Solid debut collection, with many of the short stories featuring the same characters. The comment's been made a couple of times that it sounds like there's a novel in there somewhere struggling to get out - while I do like the conceit in a short story collection, I definitely felt that part of the reason many people seized on "It could be a novel!" is that many of the stories don't turn on their own discrete axis- they're plotless, they're psychological, introverted little character sketches.

Jun 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
jeremy tiang attempts to write from a 'range' of perspectives & voices, but locating characters in various cities across the world (bangkok, china, new york, germany) etc. does not make them different or diverse. the stories came across as hollow, lacking intimacy or heart.

the worst kind of characters feature in this book: ones utterly unaware of their privilege. in turn it came across as though the author was not aware of that/the way his own privilege informs his characters. the singaporea
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A well-written and engaging collection of stories about Singaporeans on the island and abroad. At first, I found many of the stories too cynical, and I appreciate criticisms I've read about the book being too focused on the lives of the privileged. I was slowly drawn in by the writing and characters. I particularly liked the story National Day, about foreign construction workers who go to St. John's Island and are rudely castigated by a Singaporean church group for camping without a permit.
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: local
Of all the short stories in this book, I like 'National Day' a lot. I was able to feel the emotions by these bangladeshi bhaiyya. It was a bit weird at first, to be reading 'I built that' but I realised it's true. Sure, we do have the architects, URA officers & etc but the people who are directly involved in building these are the bhaiyyas; at least majority of them do.

'Look, look at them running away from their own birthday party, what kind of people are they, that would never happen back a
Karen Kueh
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Superb – astute. Assured.
Lian Kim Selby
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having grown up in Singapore and been living overseas for the past 6 years as a student, I found many of the characters in Jeremy's book easily relatable, and I suspect many other overseas Singaporeans will feel the same. I thoroughly enjoyed Jeremy's writing style, and fully appreciated many of the hints of 'Singaporean'-ness that so eloquently captured a lot of the country's flavour.
The only downside is that I found myself craving more; what happens to these characters after the story ends??
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent publication by Epigram.
These short stories -- woven by some repeated characters -- paint a real picture of Singapore and the transglobal Singaporean.
My particular favourite was the one of the foreign workers and their perception of Singapore and Singaporeans. Everyone should read it. It will make us view the people who help build and maintain our country differently.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful set of stories that are the very making of a Collective Memory.
Lim SK
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got to know about this book when I attended Jeremy Tiang's talk on translation some weeks ago. The writing is lyrical and I managed to finish the book within a few days. I wished I could do a thorough review on the book but I have yet to finish reading it again to do a good job.

The characters in the book are mostly escapists, people who are tired of Singapore's system but lost on where to go if they do not settle and try to fit in. Also, as the title suggests, it is a book about how things are
Nia Nymue
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like the voice - an easy, comfortable blend of Singapore English (not Singlish) and standard English.

One of the few books that got me flipping to previous stories to make sense of subtle connections.

This book is classic.
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
An excellent, enjoyable read. This collection of short stories by a local author is such a refreshing change from the usual/common storylines. A key reason could be the setting- Singaporeans in far flung Europe, in the US Of A etc. Looking forward to his second effort.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, abandoned
Got through the first three. The writing is solid at best, and nothing that the world still needed to hear is conveyed in them. If that gets nominated for a literature award in Singapore, it is not a good sign for the state of the art there.
Olivia Chiong
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read for every Singaporean

The stories come together as a running commentary of the way life can be for those of us lucky enough to live, love and leave Singapore.
Levonne Goh
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All of the stories linked to each other, and the characters had a subsequent development in a separate short story as the book progressed. This was a detail that I appreciated.
"In graceful, measured prose whose stillness masks a swirl of emotions, Jeremy Tiang probes the complexities of Singapore's identity. Home and abroad, in groups or (usually) alone, his characters' search for their place in this changing world feels both universal and thoroughly Singaporean. These stories signal the arrival of an important writer."
— Tash Aw, author of Five Star Billionaire

“The quietude and elegance of Jeremy Tiang’s words almost belie the true power of his prose. These carefully
Jieqi Xu
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't usually like short stories but these short stories are very enjoyable. It probably stems from the fact that they are relatable to me and I like it that they are essentially like a few different threads of different people's lives, broken up into small parts that happened during different periods of time.
Eunice Yap
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, singlit
good local read (:
Desilu Anne Nair
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Definitely a readable book with several out-of-place characters and discordant voices whom you feel for, through the writing.
rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2018
Aditi Shiva
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Aug 23, 2015
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Dec 08, 2016
Yu Xin
rated it really liked it
May 01, 2018
Cheyenne Phillips
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Dec 04, 2015
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Apr 18, 2018
Kah Hui
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Aug 09, 2018
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Jan 07, 2018
Rajesh Achanta
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Sep 08, 2016
Samuel Foo
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Jan 02, 2018
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Jeremy Tiang is the author of State of Emergency (2017, finalist for the 2016 Epigram Books Fiction Prize) and It Never Rains on National Day (2015, shortlisted for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize). He won the Golden Point Award for Fiction in 2009 for his story "Trondheim". He also writes and translates plays, including A Dream of Red Pavilions, The Last Days of Limehouse, A Son Soon by Xu Nu ...more

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“Many years later, Sophia will think of this night, and how close she was to tears. She will wonder how she could have allowed herself to arrive there, but also feel a twinge of loss for the girl still capable of losing control.” 0 likes
“She looked at me like I was stupid, the same look the girls in JC used to give me when I hadn’t heard of the latest boy band, or turned up at Zouk wearing unfashionable clothes.” 0 likes
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