Finalist for the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize
“I don’t aspire to be nice. I do what is necessary to get what I want.”
Born on the night of the nation’s independence, Gimme Lao is cheated of the honour of being Singapore’s firstborn son by a vindictive nurse. This forms the first of three things Gimme never knows about himself, the second being the circumstances surrounding his parents’ marriage, and the third being the profound (but often unintentional) impact he has on other people’s lives.
Talented, determined and focused, young Gimme is confident he can sail the seven seas, but he does not anticipate his vessel would have to carry his mother’s ambition, his wife’s guilt and his son’s secret. Tracing social, economic and political issues over the past 50 years, this humorous novel uses Gimme as a hapless centre to expose all of Singapore’s ambitions, dirty linen and secret moments of tender humanity.
This 1914 novel of frontier romance by “the greatest Western writer of all time” was the basis for the classic film starring Victor Jory (Jackson Cain, author of Hellbreak Country).Feeling constrained by her high-society life back east, Madeline Hammond decides to join her brother Alfred at his cattle ranch in El Cajon, New Mexico. But she gets a rude introduction to frontier living when she encounters a drunken cowboy named Gene Stewart. Though his rough demeanor is a shock to Madeline’s refined sensibilities, she comes to realize that he means no harm—and soon learns there are far worse characters for her to worry about. There are some bad men who would do anything to see Alfred run off his land. While Gene tries to prove to Madeline that he can change for the better, tensions in El Cajon are on the rise. And when violence breaks out, Madeline discovers courage matters a lot more than manners on the frontier
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