YouTube video

Jolene Tan is author of “After the Inquiry”, a new novel on censorship, propaganda, idealism, and everyday authoritarianism in Singapore. She discusses the novel with PJ Thum, and they go into detail in particular about the protagonist, Teck, and what the novel might reveal about Singapore. In the non-spoiler discussion, they delve into depth about the unseen forces which shape how Singaporeans think and act; how certain values are replicated by the incentive structures of the system; and her authorial process.

This interview has been edited for clarity. Please watch the Youtube video above for the full version, which includes the spoiler discussion, where they dive deeper into the plot and ending.

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Learn more about Jolene at

Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is Founder and Managing Director of New Naratif. A Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar, Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel, his work centres on Southeast Asian governance and politics. His most recent work is "Nationalism and Decolonisation in Singapore: The Malayan Generation, 1953-63" (Routledge, 2024).