Amanda Lee Koe





  • an excerpt from Ministry of Moral Panic


Amanda Lee Koe is a Singaporean writer and translator. She was a fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2013. 

Her first short story collection, Ministry of Moral Panic, won the Singapore Literature Prize for Fiction in 2014, making Amanda the youngest recipient of the award to date. The book was also the winner for Best Fiction Title in the 2016 Singapore Book Awards, and was longlisted for the 2014 Frank O’ Connor International Short Story. In 2017, the novel was shortlisted for both the Frnakfurt Book Fair’s LiBeraturpreis and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s Internationaler Literaturpreis. The Business Times has since included the book in its list of Top 10 English Singapore Books from 1965-2015.

Amanda’s debut novel, Delayed Rays of the Sun, will be published overseas and is set to be released in June 2019. Following the lives of 3 influential female figures in cinema during the 20th century, the working manuscript for the novel won the 2017 Hanfield Prize, which is awarded to the best fiction title written by a graduating MFA student from Columbia University’s Writing Program.

In 2016, she was awarded the PEN/Haim Translation Grant and has since translated works for the likes of Time Magazine, Asymptote and the PEN America Translation Series. Her other works of fiction have appeared in literary journals and publications, including Harper’s Bazaar, Berfrois and Asia Literary Review, while her commentary pieces have been featured in Manifesta Journal, The Straits Times and Art Asia Pacific.

Outside of writing, she has led mentorship programmes and community workshops for people from all walks of life, from emerging writers to senior citizens. She has also worked with organisations such as the National Library and HBO Asia on a number of multi-disciplinary projects and was a former guest-lecturer at Yale and Goethe University. Having previously lived in countries like Berlin and Bangkok, Amanda is currently based in New York.

Author Biography © Amanda Lee Koe. Author Photo © Epigram Books. All rights reserved.