Big Tree in a Small Pot
A coming-of-age tale of sixteen-year-old Eric Teo, who has a fraught relationship with his parents, particularly his mother, Clara, a successful financial adviser who imposes her values on Eric. Through an inadvertent conversation, Eric learns that he has a paternal grandmother whom no one had mentioned before. The novel pivots on Eric’s search for his grandmother. Along the way, he befriends Rajah, who is blind and from a much less privileged family. The two boys become firm friends although they’re from different backgrounds and vastly different social standing. Rajah helps Eric discover his own strength and capabilities in Eric's search for his identity.
Winner of the 2014 Singapore Literature Prize for Kampong Spirit: Gotong Royong, her memoir of growing up in a village in Singapore in the 50s and 60s, Josephine Chia fought for her right to an education at a time when girls were kept home. She graduated with an honours degree in Philosophy (reading English and Philosophy) from the University of Singapore in 1979 and later achieved a Masters in Creative Writing at the Bath Spa University College (UK). Josephine’s short stories have been published in various issues of SINGA, a Singapore literary journal. After moving to the UK, she was one of the twelve winners of the Ian St. James Awards for short fiction in 1992, and the first Singaporean to win that award. Since then, she has also gathered other awards and prizes for her short stories. Big Tree in a Small Pot is her first novel for young people.