Columbus: Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan on "Sarong Party Girls"
Join us on Monday, July 11th at 7pm for the launch of Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan's new book, Sarong Party Girls. She will be joined in conversation by Bill Goldstein.
On the edge of twenty-seven, Jazzy hatches a plan for her and her best girlfriends: Sher, Imo, and Fann. Before the year is out, these Sarong Party Girls will all have spectacular weddings to rich ang moh—Western expat—husbands, with Chanel babies (the cutest status symbols of all) quickly to follow. Razor-sharp, spunky, and vulgarly brand-obsessed, Jazzy is a determined woman who doesn't lose.
As she fervently pursues her quest to find a white husband, this bombastic yet tenderly vulnerable gold-digger reveals the contentious gender politics and class tensions thrumming beneath the shiny exterior of Singapore’s glamorous nightclubs and busy streets, its grubby wet markets and seedy hawker centers. Moving through her colorful, stratified world, she realizes she cannot ignore the troubling incongruity of new money and old-world attitudes which threaten to crush her dreams. Desperate to move up in Asia’s financial and international capital, will Jazzy and her friends succeed?
Vividly told in Singlish—colorful Singaporean English with its distinctive cadence and slang—Sarong Party Girls brilliantly captures the unique voice of this young, striving woman caught between worlds. With remarkable vibrancy and empathy, Cheryl Tan brings not only Jazzy, but her city of Singapore, to dazzling, dizzying life.
Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan is a New York-based journalist and author of A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family, and edited the fiction anthology Singapore Noir. She has been a staff writer at the Wall Street Journal, In Style magazine, and the Baltimore Sun.
Bill Goldstein, reviews books and interviews authors for NBC's Weekend Today in New York, and is also curator of public programs at Roosevelt House, the public policy institute of Hunter College. He was the founding editor of the books site of The New York Times on the Web, and received a PH.D in English from City University of New York Graduate Center in 2010. His forthcoming book, The World Broke in Two: T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf and the Year that Changed Literature, will be published by Henry Holt in May 2017.