'The Teenage Textbook' author Adrian Tan dies aged 57 after cancer battle

Law Society president is best known for his two bestselling books in the late 1980s, one of which was made into a movie

Law Society president Adrian Tan. (PHOTO: Asia Law Network)
Law Society president Adrian Tan. (PHOTO: Asia Law Network)

SINGAPORE — Law Society president Adrian Tan, who wrote the bestselling books "The Teenage Textbook" and "The Teenage Workbook" in the late 1980s, has died on Saturday (8 July) at age 57.

The lawyer had been battling cancer since being diagnosed in March last year, and went public in July about his condition in a LinkedIn post.

The Law Society released a media statement on Tan's passing, saying, "Throughout his battle with cancer, Adrian exemplified extraordinary courage.

"Despite the immense challenges he faced, he continued to carry out his duties with resolve and cheerfulness, and never failed to grace us with his trademark humour.

"Today, we not only mourn the loss of a distinguished leader, but also grieve for a cherished friend and trusted comrade. Adrian's absence leaves an indescribable void that cannot be filled. His memory will forever hold a special place in our hearts."

Tan began his Law Society presidency on 1 January 2022.

His two bestselling books were written in 1988 and 1989, while he was an undergraduate law student. They chronicled the lives of teenage students at a fictitious junior college in Singapore, and proved big hits in the city-state, with both books selling over 50,000 copies.

"The Teenage Textbook" was eventually made into a movie in 1998, starring Melody Chen and Caleb Goh.

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