About Stella Kon

 

Stella was born in Edinburgh in 1944, named Lim Sing Po  (Stars and Ripples) from which she later took the name of Stella meaning Star. She grew up in Singapore in the secluded enclave which was Emerald Hill Road  in what she remembers as an idyll of space and serenity --- dominated by the matriarchal presence of  her grandmother.

 

She is descended from two long-established Singapore Peranakan families,  both among the most progressive of  Straits Chinese leaders in the early years of the twentieth century.  Both her parents were born in the heartland of old Peranakan society, in Emerald Hill Road. Stella was not brought up to speak the Peranakan dialect, to cook the food or to wear the costume.  But stories of the past, albums of sepia-tinted photos, an awareness of family continuity over many generations, are part of her heritage.  It was this heritage she drew upon, together with nostalgic memories of her childhood at Oberon, to write Emily of Emerald Hill.

 

Stella was educated at Raffles Girls' School and the University of Singapore.   After marriage in 1966 she lived in Malaysia, in the towns of Ipoh and Kampar, mainly as a home-maker and writer. In 1982-86 she lived in  England and Scotland as a  "study mama" while her  sons went to British schools.  In 1986 Stella returned to Singapore.  She now lives in Pek Kio, a small mature HDB estate near Little India.

 

Stella has been writing all her life, since her mother used to write down the childish stories Stella narrated, in an old exercise book. She has written plays, novels, poems, short stories and musicals.  In the early eighties, Singapore's Ministry of Culture organised the National Playwriting Competition in 1979, 1982 and 1985.  Stella won the First Prize on all three occasions, after which the competition was discontinued.

 

 Her best-known work is the monodrama, Emily of Emerald Hill .  Since 2002 she has taken to writing musicals.  In 2006 she became the Chairperson of Musical Theatre Limited, an Arts Charity which promotes the creation of new Singaporean musicals.  She has written several musicals with this group, the latest being EMILY - the Musical.

 

Stella is a member of the World Community for Christian Meditation, Singapore branch.

 

She occasionally draws and paints in watercolours.