Sharlene Teo

2018 Nominee

Big Book Awards: Women Writers Award

2019 Nominee

Edward Stanford Fiction, with a Sense of Place Award

18 April 2019
304 pages


'Remarkable' – Ian McEwan

Shortlisted for Hearsts' Big Book Award 2018.

Set in 2003 in the sweltering heat of Singapore, Sharlene Teo's Ponti begins as sixteen-year-olds Szu and Circe develop an intense friendship. For Szu it offers an escape from Amisa, her beautiful, cruel mother – once an actress, and now the silent occupant of a rusty house. But for Circe, their friendship does the opposite, bringing her one step closer to the fascinating, unknowable Amisa.

Seventeen years later, Circe finds herself adrift and alone. And then a project comes up at work, a remake of the cult seventies horror film series ‘Ponti’, the same series that defined Amisa’s short-lived film career. Suddenly Circe is knocked off balance: by memories of the two women she once knew, by guilt, and by a lost friendship that threatens her conscience . . .

Longlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2019.
Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Fiction, with a Sense of Place Award.

Remarkable . . . her characters glow with life and humour and minutely observed desperation
A radiant, achingly beautiful novel about relationships between women
A triumph: a nuanced examination of betrayal and grief, memory and the corrupting effects of beauty