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Goodbye My Kampong! Potong Pasir, 1966 to 1975

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Written by Josephine Chia

This is the sequel to Josephine Chia’s 2014 Singapore Literature prize-winning book, Kampong Spirit - Gotong Royong: Life in Potong Pasir, 1955 to 1965.

In Josephine Chia’s new collection of non-fiction stories, the phasing out of attap-thatched villages, the largest mass movement in Singapore, is set against the backdrop of significant national events.

Weaving personal tribulations — her teenage angst — and the experiences of villagers from her kampong, Josephine skilfully parallels the hopes and challenges of a toddling nation going through the throes of industrialisation and rapid changes from 1966 to 1975.

These real-life stories, sprinkled with snippets of her Peranakan culture, reveal the joie-de-vivre of gotong royong or community spirit, despite impoverished conditions, in the last days of kampong life.