A curious case of the Auntie Killer…


Straits Times picture by Desmond Wee shows from left: Patrick Daniel, Alan John, Wong Kim Hoh, Ambrose Khaw, Constance Singam and friends on Feb 4, 2016.

The advantage of having a cautious first print run of 1,500 copies is that if people pick up the book, it goes into a second print run quickly. So happily I report that the second print run is under way, after just one week. It’s been quite a week, especially the “meet and greet” session at the Singapore Press Club on February 4. Quite a crowd packed into the second-floor bar at Shanghai Dolly in Clarke Quay.

It felt good to see all my best editors from over 35 years at The Straits Times, and so many friends old and new from so many parts of my life. I can’t even remember all the questions people asked for over an hour, much less what came out of my mouth, and all I drank was water. I’ve been forced to think harder than I’m used about significant moments and turning points, and the people who made a difference along the way. It was a big thrill having a long line of people with Good Grief! for me to sign and then my five minutes of celebrity went to my head and I would forget the names of people I know really well!

“Mrs J” Hedwig Alfred gets the thumbs-up from Ambrose. ST picture by Desmond Wee.

Curiously, my ST Press publisher informed me that a lot of women bought the book in Week One, and all the multiple-copy buyers (who bought 5, 10, 15 and 20 books) were women of a certain vintage! “You’s an Auntie Killer,” Susan Long said. A man who read the book said: “Of course what, this is such a love story.” A multiple-copy buyer auntie said: “Of course what, there’s so much gossip to digest and analyse!” Cheong Suk Wai dished out a whole page in The Sunday Times’ Big Read page yesterday saying such good things I thought she read someone else’s book. Cherian George deserves a big thank you for making me rearrange the stories by theme instead of letting them run chronologically. Suk Wai was among many who have said this was the right way to go. And everyone likes Dengcoy Miel’s cover illustration. Coming up next is the Big Read event at the National Library on Feb 24 evening.A1-Good-Grief-poster

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