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Review: No More Daddy’s Little Girl
Articles - Coming Out
Written by AnJ   
Thursday, 03 September 2009 03:43

“No More Daddy’s Little Girl”- a book by Karen Lee.

Before i read Karen Lee’s book, i received plenty of� comments pertaining to it.
Most of them were negative, criticizing aspects from grammar and style of writing to content.

I bought the book anyway, complete with her autograph on it. You never know till you read it, i thought to myself. Besides, i believe in supporting the first Singaporean lesbian autobiography. In the same train of thought [to support local queer writings], i bought the Chinese publication “tong lei” by OC. I finished the book in a couple of days, snatching moments before bedtime and during dinnertime.

The first half of the book touched on her early crushes, with a heavy emphasis on her involvement in Girls’ Brigade. Parts of the book provided information in somewhat random chunks. Sometimes the pieces were too brief to comprehend in detail. A characteristic, i surmised, as a result of length constraint. After sharing childhood memories, the story segued into her stints in Australia, Sweden and eventually Canada.

The greatest criticism was probably on content. Someone commented that the book is screwed up because Karen implied that she is gay as a result of being molested in her childhood. Indeed, in her coming out email to her parents, the uncanny pairing of the coming out declaration with the molest incident hinted at perceived causality. The person went on to say that the book gives fundies ammunition to target the lesbian population: you are gay because you are screwed up in your childhood. It was also pointed out that the book reflects badly on romantic relationships in the community. You can imagine a fundie going “look at how many flings Karen had! This is evidence that lesbian relationships are unstable.”

“She’s probably a screwed up lesbian,” was the concluding remark.
Coupled with Karen’s continuous struggles with reconciling her faith and sexuality throughout the book, it’s easy to see why some do not find the book uplifting.

But there were little entertaining bits here and there that amused me greatly. Karen’s ego and narcissism had me guffawing. Her confidence exuded from the very pages. She declared her own leadership, discipline and attractiveness. The audacity of demanding for someone’s girlfriend was appalling and amusing at the same time. In retort to any reader’s immediate question “how can you do that? She’s attached!”, Karen’s justification was one of standing up for her affections.

The book has several ingredients for a grabbing piece: horrifying incidents [e.g., lesbian almost-stabbing drama], the agony of being at odds with God, love, fleeting attractions, sex, eventual familial acceptance and so on. It’s certainly not a boring piece. No More Daddy’s Little Girl sent me through a torrent of emotions, ranging from exasperation to amusement. I raised my eyebrows, rolled my eyes, laughed and melted. I felt like i was sitting down with an acquaintance over coffee, listening to her life stories. Somewhat conversational [which might explain the writing style/grammar/sentence structure].

As i put the book down, sweetness overflowing from the last chapter on familial acceptance, i mulled over the merits and demerits of the book. Yes, i agree the book does not help the current negative stereotypes of lesbian women in Singapore. Yes, it is sad that people still attribute homosexuality to some childhood mishap. And certainly, it is rather sobering that some people cannot reconcile their sexuality and faith. But the book is about Karen’s working paradigm of her sexuality, spirituality and the world. Some lesbian women do think in such and such a way.

I define an autobiography as a life story worth a read.

As an autobiography, i think No More Daddy’s Little Girl has delivered.

————————————-

A short note from Karen:

“No More Daddy’s Little Girl” is an autobio written by Karen Lee. The book is available nationwide at most major bookstores such as Borders Whee Lock, Kinokuniya (Ngee Ann City & Bugis Junction), MPH (Novena, Robinson Road,Raffles City and CityLink mall), Select Books @ Tanglin Shopping Centre and Oohtique. Also 24 POPULAR bookstore branches. Do pick up a copy to support me! Thank you!

Editor’s Note: Please note that this review is the author’s personal opinion and does not reflect the official position of Sayoni in any way.

 

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# ccarol 2010-02-01 21:49
#

carol said,

September 4, 2009 at 3:41 am

i think you’re too kind. I read the book and it’s badly written in every aspect. It’s like a secondary school piece with an obvious hint that Karen does not read much. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, certainly not worth the $20++ bucks. A complete waste of time.
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# Cynthia 2010-02-01 21:49
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Cynthia said,

September 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm

To each of its own. I read the book and I liked it very much! It’s highly recommended. No doubt, it could have been stronger but again, it’s an autobio not a novel hence the style is different.

Carol, if you had read much, you would have known. Obviously, you don’t hence your comment above.
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# whitefox 2010-02-01 21:49
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whitefox said,

September 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Again, as what I have written in Anj’s blog not every story has a perfect happy ending.

For the writing style, we can cut her some slack again for not being a professional writer as she doesn’t even have an academic training for it. Perhaps, it could’ve been better if she was, but then again it is the job of the editor to polish the grammar and style.

If you don’t like it fine.. the book is not for everyone and we have varying tastes. But better to just to grasp the whole essence of the book.
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# Maxie 2010-02-01 21:50
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Maxie said,

September 7, 2009 at 11:33 pm

the sex parts should be further elaborated but still it’s rather kinky hehe….enjoyed it!
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# Joke Hin 2010-02-01 21:50
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Joke Hin said,

September 8, 2009 at 10:52 am

Here�s my 2cents worth even though I already commented on Anj’s other blog site:

It�s fabulous! I admire Karen�s courage to write this book.

Good job and well done!

Looking forward to her next sequel. By the way, I am not someone who buy books cos I always think it�s a waste of money. I only buy certain titles and hers is one of those rare few that I will buy.

Like Catherine, I am straight and her book is simply intriguing. I do have many gay and lesbian friends here, somehow, the community here is not very united and strengthened. It�s a shame.

For instance, Irene Ang and her ex-gf are no longer on talking terms hence each supports their own community group. One for Herstory and the other for TwoQueens. It�s OK to have separate groups of course, I have no qualms about it but when I mentioned about coming together and be united as one body, their faces would change.

Anyway, my point is Singaporeans will read gay/lesbian literature and comment. We can be downright critical and we can be downright empathetic. Take it with a pinch of salt.
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# Adeline 2010-02-01 21:50
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Adeline said,

September 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm

definitely not a boring piece! ewww the eating frogs part and series of events happening at the same time – omg it was indeed traumatic.

simplified to read, light-hearted and entertaining!
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# Clemence 2010-02-01 21:50
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Clemence said,

September 8, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Does anyone care for a straight man’s point of view? Well, like it or not here’s my take.

I agreed with Whitefox; the book is not for everyone. Just like the Vconference comedy which is not for the faint-hearted, religious and conservative freaks. True, there are a couple of areas which Karen could have tightened it but for pete sake, it’s her first time writing it and with no technical training (I presume), she writes well. Good stuff!

I can’t wait for her 2nd book to be released.
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# Evie 2010-02-01 21:50
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Evie said,

September 9, 2009 at 1:06 am

wahhh saying a novel sucks is one thing but saying that someone’s life is a waste of time is another thing. who are u to say that karen’s life is a waste of time to read. very rude leh! it’s like saying oh i just knew u and u are such a waste of time.

i commented on the other site:

karen�s foreword does mention that her autobio doesn�t represent the life of any lesbian in Singapore so to quote �I must say it does not aim to represent the entire spectrum of Singapore�s lesbian society�

very smart of her to have written that, cover her rear to avoid any trouble.

gay life or gay person of course everyone leads differently even straight people. singaporeans judge quickly and ignorantly la.

personally, i just live my life and as long as i am happy and have a clear conscience. again, there are ALL sorts of people in this world.
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# Tricia 2010-02-01 21:50
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Tricia said,

September 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm

thumbs up!
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# Anusha 2010-02-01 21:51
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Anusha said,

September 10, 2009 at 1:12 am

No book is perfect as there are bound to have mistakes. This is not america where some prominent publishing houses would have 6 editors to an author and on top of it, 2 proofreaders.

Very interesting life experiences – definitely not a boring piece. The book keeps u on the edge like it did for me. i simply couldn’t put it down and finished it within a couple of hours.

a straight woman like me just can’t relate to the experiences that karen had been through but i thoroughly enjoyed it!

great job!
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# Irene oh 2010-02-01 21:51
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Irene said,

September 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Actually, I don’t find the book enjoyable. Many of the events depicted don’t seem to connect properly, and irrelevant to her growth as a lesbian woman. The exploration of her relationships with other people was also not handled in depth.

As for the grammar issue, I do not know whether she had any editor at all. If yes, then I would say that the editor did a poor job.

I guess to each his/ her own. It is certainly not my cup of tea, but some people might find it enjoyable.
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# Huay Yi 2010-02-01 21:51
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Huay Yi said,

September 11, 2009 at 3:14 am

Brave, interesting but reads more like romance novel somehow.
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# Jessie 2010-02-01 21:51
#

Jessie said,

September 11, 2009 at 3:34 am

u got that right about to each of its own and no offence, improve your grammar first before commenting on someone else’s. get this straight – it’s an autobiography not some novel.

that’s the beauty of a free open blog, one gets to comment freely hence your comment cracks me up so just needed to rebuke.

it’s really interesting to learn about karen’s experiences and struggles on the other side of the planet coming from a white woman’s perspective who has never stepped out of her comfort zone.

a good read! highly recommended!
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# raf 2010-02-01 21:51
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raf said,

September 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Hey Jessie,

Does a person need to be a beauty queen before she can judge a beauty contest?

And concrete examples speak best. It would help if you point out exactly where Irene should improve her grammar. I think for posting on a “conversational” blog comment thread, Irene’s grammar is sound enough for clear comprehension.

An autobiography is a book about the life of a person, written by that person. A novel is also a book, except the story is fictional. Which authority determined that any writing that is published as a book, does not need to conform to commonly held standards of writing and English just because it is an autobiography and not a novel? I am highly interested to know.
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# Jessie 2010-02-01 21:52
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Jessie said,

September 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Hi Raf,

First of, a beauty queen of the past pageant is usually one of the judges to judge a beauty contest in most cases. You can’t expect an ugly duckling to judge a beauty contest, can’t you? It’s similar to an American Idol; you have Paula Abdul as one of the judges, don’t you? My point is in order to have similar forms of standards maintained or higher, there needs to have someone of the same or even better capacity to judge. You don’t expect a dropout to be your lecturer, do you? My point of view that is.

“Which authority determined that any writing that is published as a book, does not need to conform to commonly held standards of writing and English just because it is an autobiography and not a novel?”

I am not sure if I understood you correctly. Did you mean “does writing an autobiography need to be adhered to common standards of English as per writing a novel? You have American, British, Australian and Canadian English and of course each has different standards and form. As for authority, as in who controls it? There is an authority. In this context, it’s the copy editor and most importantly, the author himself/herself.

If you think this is a conversational blog, and that Irene’s grammar usage is sound enough then good for you.
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# irene oh 2010-02-01 21:52
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Irene said,

September 11, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Hi Jessie,

I find it interesting that you have such expectations of my grammar when you did not pay a single cent to buy anything written by me. Given by your logic, writers are the ultimate authorities over their own language? Whatever they deem to be correct must be correct? What do we need editors for if that is the case?

My biggest issue with the book is not about the grammar at all, as I thought that there was no editor. Many vocal supporters would not help in making the book enjoyable for me.
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# raf 2010-02-01 21:52
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raf said,

September 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm

LOL!

Yes, a former beauty queen is one of the judges to judge a beauty contest on the panel, but lots of common people watching the telecast make comments as well, some valid, some not. Can anyone stop them from doing so, just because they are not beauties themselves? That is my point.

Your analogy of the dropout-lecturer is flawed, as we are not talking about anyone’s capacity to do the job in question, but other people’s worthiness to make comments on the lecturer’s capacity to do the job. In other words, if i were to apply your own analogy (- effectively, only a beauty queen can comment on beauty queen-wannabes, and only a writer can comment on writer-wannabes-), then only a lecturer can make comments on whether someone can be a lecturer, and you should not be able to make a value judgment that a dropout cannot be a lecturer, unless you are a lecturer yourself?

While as you rightly point out there are various forms of English like the American, British, Australian and Canadian etc, the difference is mainly in spelling and adoption of local slang into the vocabulary. Rules of English usage are by and large the same. What I meant is, obviously any book, be it an autobiography or novel or non-fiction, has to conform to the rules of English usage. It would be plain ridiculous for a Brit to criticise an American writer on the stylistic and vocabulary aspects of American English but just as plainly, the Brit is otherwise entitled to comment on the other technical aspects of the language used – sentence structure, grammar, spelling mistakes etc, if there are any within.

I strongly doubt that the authority on the English language is limited to the copy editor and/or author only.

There have been attempts by other readers to explain away the poor English used in the book as a “conversational” compromise. In my view, comments on a blog (note, not the blog) are more conversational in nature than the contents of a published book, and therefore, I applied the standard accordingly. Meanwhile, as you have again failed to point out exactly where Irene’s grammar is not up to (your) standard, I can only infer that there is no mistake you can find. Please do provide the concrete example of Irene’s grammar mistake for our elucidation. Thank you.
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# pleinelunee 2010-02-01 21:52
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pleinelune said,

September 12, 2009 at 10:27 am

Ladies (and gentlemen), I am sure we all have different views on this book, that is alright. Let us focus on the book and its merits, not the comments.
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# Jessie 2010-02-01 21:53
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Jessie said,

September 13, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Thanks Pleinelune for pointing it out.

Back to raf, there’s no need for me to provide anything.

Your 2nd comment simply cracks me yet again. Is this how Singaporeans use the language? hmm I wonder.
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# Karen 2010-02-01 21:53
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Karen said,

September 14, 2009 at 10:57 am

Ladies, thanks so much for your comments but there’s no need to fight with one another on the usage of the English language. Concentrate on providing reviews on my book instead :)

Jessie – thanks for providing your review! didn’t know it has reached the readers in the states and that’s awesome.

raf – thanks for your views on the language. no one is perfect. be it conversational or not, there are others who loved it and others don’t. others who loved it are not locals (some are) and others who didn’t aren’t so it’s interesting to get such reviews. u mentioned it’s ridiculous for a brit to criticize (british spelling) american writing. why is that? if so, then wouldn’t it be ridiculous for a singaporean (sure using the british grammar but did u have a chance to read the Sunday Times yesterday? There was an article which mentioned that most Singaporeans are able to hold good conversations, however, not everyone speak accurately as always) to be criticizing an american’s comment (jessie) on the above :) ?

anyway, let’s not take it too personally ya.

enjoy the rest of the reviews! it’s getting more and more controversial haha
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# cynthia 2010-02-01 21:53
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cynthia said,

September 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm

There’s no need to argue. It’s just a badly written book that’s all.
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# Soo Peng 2010-02-01 21:53
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Soo Peng said,

September 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm

it’s surprising to see local lesbians bashing Karen’s first autobiography. it’s her story her life afterall. as a straight person, i liked it very much. the dialogs flowed beautifully.
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# Ovidia 2010-02-01 21:53
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Ovidia said,

September 14, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Karen just asked me to come here to read & comment on the review so:

I thought it was very fair & insightful–the review, that is. Like Anj I felt put off by several things in the book which I would blame on poor editing.

But as an honest & gutsy record of one person’s experience of growing up lesbian it was a ‘gripping’ read.

I also winced at the thought of non-lesbians reading the book & assuming this is the story of the ‘typical’ Singapore lesbian but if you feel that way the solution is not to criticize this book but to write down your own story.
No, that is not an easy thing to do–& realizing that may make you appreciate this book for what it is & for having been written & published.
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# deb 2010-02-01 21:54
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deb said,

September 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Hi straight friends!

Aiyoh. You seem to think that the queer women’s community is a uniform group. Like our straight friends who criticize their own, i’m sure you don’t think we’re part of an alien Borg species right? And who is Catherine? What has Irene Ang and her ex-gfs or the split in the party scene got to do with it? Please don’t over generalize or simplify. Ai-yo-yo.
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# whitefox 2010-02-01 21:54
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whitefox said,

September 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm

“Please do provide the concrete example of Irene�s grammar mistake for our elucidation. Thank you.”

Lesbian woman.

Are there lesbian men?
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# deb 2010-02-01 21:54
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deb said,

September 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm

wah liew not looking nice for either side friend.
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# whitefox 2010-02-01 21:54
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whitefox said,

September 14, 2009 at 4:41 pm

okidoki, just trying to find whether this is what jessie was talking about. peace yo.
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# AnJJ 2010-02-01 21:55
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AnJ said,

September 14, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Whitefox: Irene’s use of “lesbian woman” is not a grammar mistake. In fact, i have to use “lesbian woman” instead of “lesbian” in academic writing, which is quite a chore. But it was stipulated by the publishing manual and i didn’t have a choice.
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# deb 2010-02-01 21:55
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deb said,

September 15, 2009 at 12:02 am

orh ok whitefox. hug hug. My england not so powderful, so bear with my Singlish. I also don’t like Karen’s book but we can agree to disagree ya? My 2 cents worth is that the editing is done badly and the flow of the book is all over the place. Like Ovidia, i cringed at certain parts of the book which the straight people seem to say they like. (No not the sex part, we need our own Singapore lesbian erotica!) But writing is an outgoing process, you get better as you go along. So let’s hope that Karen don’t take it so badly she stop writing or something. You never know, today’s criticism can be her impetus to be the next erm… Ovidia Yu!
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# raf 2010-02-01 21:55
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raf said,

September 16, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Oh no Jessie. So sorry to crack you. I hope all the King’s horses and all the King’s men can put you back together again. Or did you mean, crack you UP? Hmm. I wonder, too. “no offence, improve your grammar first before commenting on someone else�s.” Sounds familiar?

Of course, there is no need to provide anything, except that one can now easily dismiss your first reply to Irene as nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to discredit her for simply not enjoying the book. What you reveal is only your own diminished credibility.

Karen, thanks for your comment too. But it is disingenuous to, on one hand, ask us not to fight with one another on the usage of the English language and then, on the other hand, to pose a question to me along that very line. Similarly, it is disingenuous to read and selectively use only the first part of my sentence to make it seem like I meant something which I did not. Since I have to address your point, I have no choice but to go into the boring topic of English usage again. Please bear with me.

My sentence was: It would be plain ridiculous for a Brit to criticise an American writer on the stylistic and vocabulary aspects of American English but just as plainly, the Brit is otherwise entitled to comment on the other technical aspects of the language used – sentence structure, grammar, spelling mistakes etc, if there are any within.

You said that I mentioned: it�s ridiculous for a brit to criticize (british spelling) american writing.

I did not say it is ridiculous for a Brit to criticise American writing. I mentioned that it is ridiculous for a Brit to criticise an American writer on the stylistic and vocabulary aspects of American English. Otherwise, the Brit is entitled to comment on other technical aspects of the language used. In short, anything which is universal, like grammar.

Let me give you a concrete example, for your ease of comprehension. We know that Australians have a greeting “Good day, mate!” and Americans might say “Howdy!”. Anyone who says this is wrong, would be ridiculous. But if the greeting had been written in a book as “Gud day, maite!” or “Howdy! Its a bootiful day, isn’t it?”, then obviously the Brit can comment on the spelling and grammar mistakes, using what the right spelling should be in the standard of the English used, be it Australian or American. You don’t need any special nationality to do that. As for rules of English grammar, they are universal. By the way, the British spelling of “criticize” is “criticise”. Americans are the ones who use “z” instead of “s”.

I don’t take any of this personally and I hope, neither do you. Cheers.

Soo Peng, we are not bashing her autobiography. We are only voicing our own opinions of the book, just as you and others have done. You like it, good for you! But I really don’t think anyone can expect someone to support something simply because it was created by a person that is “alike” to one in a certain way. If so, then every single book written by a straight person should be a best-seller, since all the heterosexuals would uncritically like these books.

Ovidia, I agree that it is not easy to write, and for that itself, props to Karen. But the very fact that writing is not easy should not be used to stem negative feedback. Otherwise, there would be no point to practical criticism in literature or peer review of any published article. The solution you proposed is not the cure. Going by the same line, if 1000 lesbians write a stereotypical lesbian autobiography, and 50 write a different kind that is not like what the public thinks, then does that mean the majority win? Is the public therefore justified in thinking that lesbians are indeed like how they have been thought of, because 950 more lesbians with that kind of lifestyle were unabashed enough to write about it?
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# Jan 2010-02-01 21:55
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Jan said,

September 16, 2009 at 11:30 pm

After chapter 9, i couldn’t put the book down. it must have been difficult penning down all your experiences in the book and I think you did a brilliant job with it. It was honest and incredibly open, and it had moments that I could relate to. When i came out to my parents earlier this year, I was really anxious to see their reaction to just hear it from them that it was ok and they still loved me.
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# Karen 2010-02-01 21:55
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Karen said,

September 17, 2009 at 12:19 am

Ovidia, Whitefox, Deb, Anusha, Soo Peng and Jan, thank you for your positive feedback and encouragement!

Raf, I want to thank you too and funny concrete examples so no, I am not taking this personally :)
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# Tricia 2010-02-01 21:56
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Tricia said,

September 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm

I can’t agree more, Jan!!
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# deb 2010-02-01 21:56
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deb said,

September 17, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Excellent reply raf. Are you a writer by any chance?
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# kwor 2010-02-01 21:56
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kwor said,

September 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm

I personally found the book very badly-written and edited. There was no flow to the story, and the structure was terrible. I was spotting grammar mistakes by the time I got to Chapter 2, and by Chapter 5, I was pounding my head against the wall for all the weird expressions and the stilted, completely boring narration.

The book was full of irrelevant events, and I did not see how all this contributed towards who the author is as a person today. For example, what was the point of the frog-eating story? The book touched on events like a butterfly jumping from flower to flower, without engaging in any kind of introspection. I can easily forgive the narcissism and ego – if she could explain or think about the impact of her life experiences upon her personality. This lack of introspection carried over to the way Karen talks about her experiences with women, which I found rather shallow, especially when she describes the woman she eventually married. And I still don’t understand how Karen managed to reconcile her faith with her sexuality – it is okay if she hasn’t but I didn’t see an acknowledgment from her about it. For a book promoted as an autobiography of a singaporean lesbian christian… the topic wasn’t touched on enough.

The entire book seriously felt like a secondary-school essay without a word limit. Narration was very juvenile and much of the dialogue sounded like it was written from a soap opera. If it was meant to be raw, I did not feel it. Karen forgets the first rule of writing: “show, don’t tell”. Getting through the book was something of a torture, and I only did it so that I could know what all the fuss was about.
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# raf 2010-02-01 21:56
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raf said,

September 17, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Thank you deb. I am no writer, just a dabbler. Writers are people like Catherine Lim, Eleanor Wong, Ovidia Yu, Jasmine Seah, Ng Yi-Sheng…
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# Catherine 2010-02-01 21:56
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Catherine said,

September 18, 2009 at 12:56 pm

This is a repost as I already did on Anj’s wordpress site.

I am a straight person but am intrigued by homosexuality lifestyle in Singapore and various parts of the World. It may sound embarrassing but I only have 2 lesbian friends. They are not out to their family and friends. One of them attended Karen�s book launch and bought the book for me as a birthday gift.

I must say it is truly gripping and honest. This is the first kind of book that I have read: written, published, bred (what have you) in Singapore. Good for her.

As an ex-publisher working in overseas for a number of years, I have read many books of such kind so it�s a norm. Not everyone writes well and to have such a kind published, and sold here in this country, it is definitely not easy let me tell you.

Self-publishing is definitely the way to go now. And, the materials need to be original and sellable in order to grasp the bookstores� intention to sell (via a reliable distributor). Not every homosexual material gets launched and made available in stores here especially major select ones like Borders and Popular so this is really a milestone for Karen.

Peculiar Chris by Johann Lee is another good book. Now, he claimed it�s not an auto but a fiction novel so the setting is entirely different. However, it sold well. Simply because his materials are original and poignant.

Most importantly, like a couple of comments made above, Karen is not a professional writer. This is her first book for crying out loud so be it screwed-up book or not, it touched me.

And this is not a book for everyone. Some hate it. Some love it.

I hope to see more gay/lesbian autobios published here but meanwhile, Karen has become the new sensation like it or not.
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# Miko 2010-02-01 21:56
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Miko said,

September 18, 2009 at 7:43 pm

If anyone of you have read Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, you will know why the autobio was written (and perhaps edited) the way it is. Someone mentioned about the art of writing, quoting:” Show, don’t tell,” that person must not have studied literary criticism before. Telling and showing are two different types of writing techniques and both are just as good and it is up to the author to choose. I’m surprised Singaporean readers are so ignorant. As for the content, I enjoy the book for the fact that the telling/conversational style retains the Singapore flavour and distinct personality of the author in the way she speaks. So, I don’t see a problem with the writer and the editor at all. Following such a long string of debate, I also noticed that those who posted the comments (incl. Olvidia Yu) are criticising the book for the sake of doing it. Let’s give the first-time writer a break.
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# raf 2010-02-01 21:57
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raf said,

September 18, 2009 at 10:10 pm

I’ve read Trainspotting (and A Clockwork Orange, and Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, and what else do you want?). So what? Wow, I didn’t know reading these books conferred super powers to decide Singaporean readers are so ignorant. Thanks for your patronising attitude. Maybe you should read more Singaporean books before you display your pathetic ignorance on what the “Singapore flavour” is. Most of this book appears to be written more in the tone of a Singapore-born Aussie resident, in case you missed the rampant Australian slang littered throughout. I also noticed that those who posted supportive comments have nothing to substantiate their opinions besides that they enjoyed reading her experiences within. Are you all supporting her book for the sake of supporting it? Give me a break.
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# Soo Peng 2010-02-01 21:57
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Soo Peng said,

September 19, 2009 at 6:54 am

raf, pardon me for saying this but who the heck do you think you are???!?!

Stephen King or Mark Twain or some random dabble you so called yourself – one who engages in an activity superficially or without or without serious intent?? Give me a frigging break!

Right from the start, you had been giving constructive criticisms on Karen’s book and that was fair enough but after that, you have been “attacking” everyone’s comments or should I say positive ones one by one including mine, Ovidia and even Karen which I was appalled by.

You said you were voicing your opinions on Karen’s book but it seems to me that you are attacking reviewers with an intent. What is your frigging problem! What’s wrong with Ovidia voicing her opinions? What’s wrong with Miko voicing her opinions? What’s wrong with my opinions? Most importantly, what’s wrong with Karen’s opinions? It’s her frigging book! Why don’t you write a book and see how it shall be reviewed like what Ovidia advised as the “cure”!

Why do we have to substantiate our opinions! We like the book and that is it! Good for us! Didn’t you say that to me previously! So leave it alone! So what if Miko missed the aussie rampant slang. So what?? Big deal! You are not a dabbler but a babbler and highly critical so get off your high horse! Shame on you!
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# raf 2010-02-01 21:57
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raf said,

September 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Dear Soo Peng,

No problem, I don’t think I am anything at all. But since we’re all nobodies, we’re all kinda equal eh? Yeah, it’s really good for you that you like the book. I don’t question people for liking it. But how interesting that Miko can call Singaporean readers ignorant and question if we are only criticising for the sake of criticising, and yet the same question cannot be turned around on the supporters? Basic logic, that’s all.

And FYI I never said there’s anything wrong with voicing opinions. It is pretty incredible to me though, if anyone thinks that anything they post can go without address if necessary. Just as other readers and I have put my comments here for other readers like you and Jessie to rebut, similarly any person’s comments should be subject to the same treatment. Exchange of thoughts cannot be one way right? It’s only fair. But no matter, if it bothers you, do feel free to ignore my comments.

If you’re still reading, I’m curious to know though, where did Karen voice her opinions about her book that I “attacked”? I only “attacked” her opinion about my reply to Jessie. Unless you mean that I “attacked” her book which is made up of her opinions, then in that case, are you trying to say that every single book in the world cannot be criticised/reviewed because they are all just the opinions of their authors?

As for Miko missing the rampant Aussie slang, it is only to point out that the book is not very locally flavoured in that sense. It is not a criticism of the book.

Lastly, thanks very much for your criticism of me. I have been called many things before and a “babbler” is really quite original and funny. Didn’t know I was sitting on a high horse just by being critical, but ok. Sorry for any discomfort caused to you yeah? Cheers.
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# Ana 2010-02-01 21:57
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Ana said,

September 19, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Chill folks, this is not the only lesbian site that called her book a waste of time. So can you move your energy to somewhere else please?
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# Soo Peng 2010-02-01 21:57
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Soo Peng said,

September 20, 2009 at 1:38 am

raf, thanks. life is short just play hard. relax and enjoy the beautiful things around you. perhaps, you are also too critical on yourself thus having high standards on others?

ana, this is a site to review karen’s autobiography. so what if this is not the only lesbian site that called her book a waste of time. if u are in here just to shoot the breeze (ie without a purpose), look elsewhere. raf and i are simply debating and not arguing so if you don’t like it, you may move on. no one is stopping you.

if you don’t have anything nice to say, how about you don’t say anything at all.
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# Ana 2010-02-01 21:57
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Ana said,

September 20, 2009 at 10:58 am

wow. Same goes for you too.
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# pleinelunee 2010-02-01 21:58
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pleinelune said,

September 20, 2009 at 11:49 am

Ladies, once again, let’s not let this descend to petty bickering. Soo Peng, I believe the point Ana was trying to make was that this heated (and increasingly personal) disagreement is rather unproductive, something evidenced by your last comment. Also, if you do believe that Karen’s book has its merits, perhaps it is better to go and let your views be known on those other websites (like Redqueen) who have reviewed Karen’s book, rather than launch personal attacks on Raf. I don’t feel you have the right to shut up Ana for saying that.

We understand that this topic is a intensely controversial one – there will always be detractors and supporters for any literary or artistic work. Everyone is entitled to their point of view, and to let it be known, within boundaries. Stick to those boundaries and hopefully we can have an enlightening discussion from both sides.
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# Soo Peng 2010-02-01 21:58
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Soo Peng said,

September 20, 2009 at 11:49 am

if you read the comments above, i did have something nice to say but i was referring to your direct comment:

“Chill folks, this is not the only lesbian site that called her book a waste of time. So can you move your energy to somewhere else please?”

and again if u read the review above (i meant Anj), it is insightful and positive. it’s worth a read and Karen’s autobio has delivered so it never said that this site has called her book a waste of time so please move your negative energy somewhere else. Thanks.
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# ssayoni 2010-02-01 21:58
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sayoni said,

September 20, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Please note that the review is the author’s personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Sayoni in any way.
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# rredbean82 2010-02-01 21:58
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redbean82 said,

September 20, 2009 at 11:29 pm

I personally think it is an interesting read at least it kept me going for 2 nights wanting to finish it. I do find certain parts difficult to follow. There were too much on the childhood and secondary school days and I would have like to see more depth in the relationship portions. Hoping to see a follow up to the book on her marriage life, this will give us a better insight to lesbian marriage life.
Lastly I want to applaud her courage in getting her book published. We do need more of such people in the community!
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# baillyking 2010-02-01 21:59
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baillyking said,

September 21, 2009 at 12:26 am

I personally like raf, soo peng, ovidia and miko’s comments but disagree with Catherine, mark twain and redbean82’s comments.
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# Soo Peng 2010-02-01 21:59
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Soo Peng said,

September 21, 2009 at 11:44 am

pleinelune, i am letting my views be known too and i feel u don’t have the right to tell me what to do. nonetheless, i hope to have enlightening discussions from now on.
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# whitefox 2010-02-01 21:59
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whitefox said,

September 22, 2009 at 12:37 am

Why be so angry for a book, an autobio which u didnt think was written in a way it should, according to your tastes, according to your standards? And slam people who agree? And slam people who disagree? The book is written not for a nobel prize goal, but to just share experience. If you get that gratifying experience to bash a book, so be it. No one’s stopping you.

Anyway, I hope you guys are all likeable in person and have real life friends and you don’t slam every person contradicting your views. But talk is cheap, especially if people don’t know you so fire away.
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# jolene 2010-02-01 21:59
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jolene said,

September 26, 2009 at 2:35 am

I think karen should just invest in a good editor and i thought the book is badly written and boring. There isn’t much content and it’s quite the usual lesbian scene that i hear from my lesbian or gay friends. So not worth paying $20++ for her to earn, it’s so ‘days of our lives’. Further, lesbian relationships does not always be that way. Perhaps karen is indeed just screw up in some way. weird little kid that grew up with a bad past. Maybe there’s a reason why you keep changing flings. The reality is that you have to look at least decent for people to fall in love with you. That is the reality when you’re leaving in Singapore.
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# pleinelunee 2010-02-01 21:59
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pleinelune said,

September 26, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Please keep the debate to the merits of the book, and refrain from casting aspersions at the author’s character and appearance. Let’s keep the comments civil, on both sides.
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# dithium 2010-02-01 22:00
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dithium said,

September 27, 2009 at 4:17 am

I have not read the book but i am pretty disgusted with the remarks so far arguing over the ENGLISH rather than focusing on the other more controversial criticisms brought up here.. its an autobiography so i guess unless its like L-Word with the super drama-mama twists, it wont interest the bulk of you having so much expectations i guess.

i do agree that its an opening for social bashing being the first book penned by a Singaporean lesbian. it’ll shape the way the under-represented minorities are viewed and all.. But it also an important piece that’ll open up certain degrees of awareness, understanding and (hopefully) acceptance to this small community. Definitely a good start to (very) slowly educate the straight&square, pro-family society.

boy, i can’t wait to grab the book tmr~!
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# Christina 2010-02-01 22:00
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Christina said,

September 29, 2009 at 5:35 pm

An autobiography reflects chapters of a person’s life. Chapters which people bare to the world, without frills and with total vulnerability. It takes courage to even begin one and it was with that respect that I started on “No More Daddy’s Little Girl”.

The book was easy to read. It took me a day to finish it, to read and enjoy just a fraction of Karen’s life and her ups and downs. I found myself caught in various emotions, from a sense of dilemma to a sense of fulfillment. The pace of the book differed, taking it slow during the first half and picking up speed from the second. I found myself trying to keep up at times, unsure if it was Karen’s intent to start the reader off slow and then fast track through the complexities of the later years. I would have loved to experience more of the latter.

The ending of the book was comfortable, marking one of many turns in Karen’s life. It brought a smile to my face, feeling Karen closing a chapter while preparing to open another. Life continues, just no longer penned on paper for fellow voyagers like myself. My congratulations to Karen for getting this book published. Thank you for your honesty and for allowing us to share the experience of your journey as a person.
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# karen2 2010-02-01 22:00
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karen2 said,

September 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Dear Karen

Will you please get your real life friends to stop shouting down at other people here? Thanks.
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# Cherie 2010-02-01 22:00
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Cherie said,

October 1, 2009 at 2:13 pm

I really enjoyed the upfront and honest autobiography!

I read it from start to finish on the flight from Singapore to Perth, needless to say the flight went so quickly!

Much of the dialogue made me feel like I was present during the various situations described, which I found fun.

Congratulations on the courage that it takes to write a lesbian autobiography Karen – I’m looking forward to the sequel!
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# humphh 2010-02-01 22:01
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humph said,

January 1, 2010 at 6:10 am

Stubbornly personal comment, to raf:

:D You made me start 2010 on many chuckles. Agree agree and couldn’t agree more btw. Your precision of mind was a delight to follow. Keen logic is appreciated by too few, alas, and the dull intellect resists and scoffs in defence.

Happy new year – wishing you well. (just you :P )
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# bella 2010-03-27 16:40
i think the book was good...n its help u to be who u really are.. everyone has it own ways to express..aftrall its a autobio book...its bout self express & it come deep within..the simple english with it own touch..
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# paulakey 2013-05-12 12:45
Come and read my lesbian stories that I am blogging to e-publishing on my site: stories4hotbloodedlesbians.com.
All of us have had different 'coming out' moments of confusion. When I admitted I was a lesbian, I read every academic book and coming out stories I could find. I was brought up a Catholic and at the time religion was important to me. However, I had a picture of a loving God who created me and was very happy with me as I was. I am willing to dialogue with any lesbian that has been 'brain-washed' by the religious misguided people who say that lesbians are 'sinful.' Not to love is sinful, not to love yourself as you are is sinful. I don't actually use the word 'sin' much. We are differently made by a wonderful God who is called by many names. To love anoher person is to get love for ourself.
My site: stories4hotbloodedlesbians.com deals with stories but also with issues. Come and visit. paula
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