20 November 2021
The annual One Story is back with Razi, a new Malay short story on the love and struggles of those with special needs. This powerful story by Dr Sa'eda Buang encapsulates a parent’s love and revolves around the painful struggles faced by Nani, a mother of a boy with special needs.
One Story is a multi-year project by the National Library Board (NLB) that features stories by Singapore authors and translates them into the country’s four official languages, and putting them together in one book. The literary initiative started last year as part of the National Reading Movement (NRM), and was kicked off with Singapore Literature Prize winner Mr Sithuraj Ponraj’s short Tamil story, Dharma's Chariot.
The book will feature the story in all four languages and will be available as an eBook on Overdrive and Libby, with physical copies for loan at all public libraries from 20 November 2021. As part of NLB's LAB25 (Libraries and Archives Blueprint), where NLB will be building a "Learning Marketplace" for our patrons to read and learn with us, One Story will encourage readers to learn more about the real-world issues, such as those faced by persons with disabilities. Through One Story: Razi, NLB hopes to create more awareness on the plight of individuals with special needs and their caregivers, encourage acceptance and provide resources to those who want to learn more about this topic.
One Story is complemented by a one-stop page on the NRM website that provides resources such as discussion questions for reading clubs, programme listings and reading recommendations. There are also podcasts, videos, articles and websites related to topics such as special needs, caregiving and parenting. In conjunction with the launch of the multilingual book, NLB will be holding approximately 31 programmes in a mix of hybrid and online formats to raise awareness and foster discussion around special needs and the people who struggle with it.
Razi is about the struggles of a mother, Nani, as she tries her best to care for her son, the titular Razi, who has special needs. Nani finds herself ostracised by her community, even as she seeks help for her son. Razi will make readers question the lengths they would go to and the sacrifices they would make for a loved one. Readers will be pulled in and tempted to weigh in on the dilemmas that Nani has to grapple with and tread the path of her emotional struggles and guilt. Will readers condemn her choices or empathise with the challenges she faces?
Readers can expect a variety of physical, online and hybrid programmes such as a meet-the-author session, talks and panel discussions on special needs and caregiving, creative writing sessions, and book club discussions in all four languages. Guest speakers range from experts and professionals in the field, and also caregivers and individuals with special needs. In observance of World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April 2022, there will be more programmes introduced across all languages in April 2022. For example, there will be a Malay poetry gig where literary enthusiasts create and perform their own poetry based on the theme of 'empathy'.
Readers will stand a chance to win prizes in a social media contest held on the National Reading Movement Facebook page in January 2022.
Please refer to Annex A for the full schedule of programmes being launched as part of the One Story project.
About National Library Board
The National Library Board (NLB) nurtures Readers for Life, Learning Communities and a Knowledgeable Nation by promoting reading, learning and history through its network of 27 public libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. NLB also forges strategic partnerships that encourage awareness, appreciation and greater discovery of Singapore’s history through its rich collections on Singapore and the region.
NLB achieves excellence through innovation, focusing on citizen engagement and co-creation, resource and digital innovation. This creates learning opportunities, greater access to library resources, services and archival collections, as well as a continual development of innovative library spaces. Established on 1 September 1995 as a statutory board, NLB is under the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).