Author Andre Yeo takes on the topic of terrorism in Singapore with his debut novel, 9th of August


SINGAPORE — What happens when terrorists slip into Singapore and strike at the Lion City on her birthday? That’s the premise of 9th of August, the debut novel by Andre Yeo, which is published by Epigram Books.

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The novel, which was a finalist for the 2017 Epigram Books Fiction Prize (EBFP), follows what happens when the lives of three men – Afghan terrorist leader Tun, ISD Inspector Rahim and single father Henry – become intertwined after a plot to strike Singapore on National Day is uncovered.

In the days leading up to Singapore’s 55th birthday – 9 Aug 2020 – the terrorists and security forces engage in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to upend life on the island.

“The idea for 9th of August came about because I have always felt we were not immune to being attacked by terrorists,” says Andre. “The London and Madrid attacks showed it can happen to anyone at any time... I hope that by reading this book Singaporeans and people living here will be more aware of what’s going on around them (and) help make Singapore a safer place to live in.”

The most challenging thing was finding the right voice and the right dialogue for each character, Andre adds. As for delving into the psychology of a terrorist, Andre says: “I just put myself in his shoes because he started off as a good guy, but bad things happened to him and his family. So I asked myself, ‘how would I react if the same things happened to me and what would happen to me if I were to lose all faith and all hope in life’?”

Cyril Wong, two-time Singapore Literature Prize winner and one of the judges for the 2017 EBFP says the book “paints a dark, startlingly unambiguous and uncompromising picture of what might happen when terror does strike, and why.”

The book is available from Epigram’s online store ( as well as LocalBooks ( It is also available from all leading bookstores.


About the Author
Andre Yeo has been a journalist for 21 years. In 2014, he self-published his first book, Home: 50 50-word Stories to Celebrate Singapore’s 50th Birthday. He and his wife, a teacher, have three daughters and a son. 9th of August is his first novel.