Passed away in Singapore on 21 August 2009
Aged 78 years
Greatly Missed by All
Rex Anthony Shelley (27 November 1930 – 21 August 2009) was a Eurasian Singaporean author. A graduate of the University of Malaya in Singapore and Cambridge trained in engineering and economics, Shelley managed his own business and also worked as member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) for over 30 years. For his service, he was conferred the Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Star) by the Government of Singapore in 1978, and an additional Bar the next year.
Shelley started writing fiction late in life, publishing his first novel, The Shrimp People, in 1991 at the age of sixty one. The first substantial work by a Singaporean writer about the Eurasian community in Singapore, it won the 1992 National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) Award. The books People of the Pear Tree (1993), Island in the Centre (1995) and A River of Roses (1998), on the same theme, followed within a decade; respectively, they won NBDCS Highly Commended Awards in 1994 and 1996, and the Dymocks Singapore Literature Prize in 2000. In 2007 he was the Singaporean winner of the S.E.A. Write Award. Critics have responded positively to his writing, noting its "passionate, humane" style, and observing how his breadth of life experience gave rise to a talent for characterization plus an ability to blend "a sharp sense of observed commentary with historical detail".