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AUTHOR MEET: John Greenwood

National Library Board


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When :

04:00 PM - 06:00 PM


Central Public Library
100 Victoria Street, National Library Board, Singapore



First 50 registrations receive a mystery book at the end of the session.
The attendee must collect the book in person, with proof of identification - limited to one copy per attendee.
Free admission, pre-registration required. 


Forbidden Hill is the first volume in the Singapore Saga which feature a vivid cast of historical and imaginary characters. Join Professor John D Greenwood as he introduces some of these characters through selective readings, discusses the inspiration and research behind the novel, moderated by Dr Kirpal Singh. Dispelling some of the myths surrounding the early years of the settlement, he recounts the challenges of capturing the imagination of the reader while remaining faithful to the historical record. 


“Bloodthirsty pirates, runaway concubines and lots of Scots - these are but some of the colourful characters that people the pages of Singapore Saga, an ambitious new series of novels that will span 100 years of Singapore's early history.” 
- Olivia Ho, The Straits Times.


About the moderator

Dr Kirpal Singh retired from full time university teaching in 2017 after 45 years of continuous service. He taught at NUS, NTU and SMU. In addition, he was a Visiting Professor at several universities abroad, including NYU, Drexel, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Adelaide, Flinders, UPenn. The author of many books and an internationally recognized writer, Dr Singh is globally respected and known for his frank discussions and views. He is Vice-President of the ACA-American Creativity Association. He is currently Director, Centre for Educational Leadership at Training Vision Institute, Singapore and a Fellow of NUHS.


About the author

Professor John Greenwood teaches history of psychology at the City University of New York Graduate Center, and formerly taught at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of several academic books and numerous academic papers, but he is a fervent fan of early Singapore history and recently completed Chasing the Dragon, the second volume of Singapore Saga.


About the books

Set against the establishment of Singapore in 1819, Forbidden Hill (Singapore Saga, Vol. 1) is a tale of intrigue and adventure, love and betrayal, bravery and tragedy, that follows the fortunes of Scottish merchant adventurer Ronnie Simpson and the resourceful Englishwoman Sarah Hemmings. Their blood feud with an American gunrunner reaches its climax in a confrontation withIllanun pirates and an epic battle in the South China Sea.


The protagonists’ narrative is interwoven with those of Raffles and Farquhar, and those of European, Chinese and Arab merchants, coolies and concubines, Malay royalty and female slaves, Indian boatmen and British soldiers. As the ghosts of the rajahs from old Singapura fade into the shadows of Bukit Larangan or Forbidden Hill, the new settlers and local Malays forge their linked destinies in the rapidly developing emporium of the Eastern seas.


Forbidden Hill is book #1 in the Singapore Saga, a series of historical fiction that spans the first one hundred years of Singapore, and is followed by Chasing the Dragon and Hungry Ghosts.

Chasing the Dragon (Singapore Saga, Vol 2) continues to vividly portray the lives of the early pioneers of Singapore as the port city develops in the 1840s and 1850s. Duncan Simpson comes to manhood when he joins James Brooke, the White Rajah of Sarawak, on his expeditions against the piratical Borneo Dayaks. An Indian cattleman turns to tiger hunting when his herd is decimated by disease, a wife is haunted by the ghost of her abandoned child, and secret society gangs murder Christian farmers in the interior of the island. As troop ships of the British Expeditionary Force assemble in Singapore in readiness for the first Opium War, Hong Xiuquan has a dream that will launch the Taiping Rebellion in China, which will take the lives of twenty million and powerfully impact the fortunes of the new citizens of Singapore.


Chasing the Dragon is book #2 in the Singapore Saga, a series of historical fiction that spans the first 100 years of Singapore, and follows Forbidden Hill.




Central Public Library

100 Victoria Street, National Library Board, Singapore