Author(s): Sharlene Teo
'Remarkable' - Ian McEwan.2003, Singapore. Friendless and fatherless, sixteen-year-old Szu lives in the shadow of her mother Amisa, once a beautiful actress and now a hack medium performing seances with her sister in a rusty house. When Szu meets the privileged, acid-tongued Circe, an unlikely encounter develops into an intense friendship and offers Szu a means of escape from her mother's alarming solitariness.Seventeen years later, Circe is struggling through a divorce in fraught and ever-changing Singapore when a project comes up at work: a remake of the cult seventies horror film series 'Ponti', the very project that defined Amisa's short-lived film career. Suddenly Circe is knocked off balance: by memories of the two women she once knew, by guilt, and by a past that threatens her conscience.Told from the perspectives of all three women, Ponti is about friendship and memory, about the things we do when we're on the cusp of adulthood that haunt us years later. Beautifully written by debut author Sharlene Teo, and enormously atmospheric, Ponti marks the launch of an exciting new literary voice in the vein of Zadie Smith.
Set in Singapore, and spanning fifty years, Ponti is the story of three women: sixteen-year-old Szu; her monstrous and beautiful mother, Amisa; and Circe, Szu's unlikely friend. Winner of the Deborah Rogers Writers' Award, this is a novel about love and friendship, and about a guilt spanning decades.
'Remarkable . . . With brilliant descriptive power and human warmth, Sharlene Teo summons the darker currents of modernity - environmental degradation, the suffocating allure of the sparkling modern city and its cataracts of commodities and corrupted language. Against this, her characters glow with life and humour and minutely observed desperation.' -- Ian McEwan
Sharlene Teo (b. 1987) is a Singaporean writer based in the UK. She is the winner of the inaugural Deborah Rogers Writers' Award for Ponti, her first novel. In 2012, she was awarded the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship to undertake an MA in Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia, where she is doing a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing. She is the recipient of the 2013 David T.K Wong Creative Writing Fellowship and the 2014 Sozopol Fiction Fellowship.