Thursday, 5 March 2020

#WorldReads - Five Books From Malaysia

If this is your first visit to my WorldReads blog series, the idea of the posts is to encourage and promote the reading of global literature. On the 5th of each month I highlight five books I have read by authors from a particular country and you can see links to previous countries' posts at the end of this post as well as finding out how to join in the challenge.

Click the book titles or cover images to visit their Literary Flits book review pages.

This month we are going to Malaysia!



The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

They say a tiger that devours too many humans can take the form of a man and walk among us...
In 1930s colonial Malaya, a dissolute British doctor receives a surprise gift of an eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy. Sent as a bequest from an old friend, young Ren has a mission: to find his dead master's severed finger and reunite it with his body. Ren has forty-nine days, or else his master's soul will roam the earth forever.
Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker, moonlights as a dancehall girl to pay her mother's debts. One night, Ji Lin's dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir that leads her on a crooked, dark trail. As time runs out for Ren's mission, a series of unexplained deaths occur amid rumours of tigers who turn into men. In their journey to keep a promise and discover the truth, Ren and Ji Lin's paths will cross in ways they will never forget.



We, The Survivors by Tash Aw

A murderer’s confession – devastating, unblinking, poignant, unforgettable – which reveals a story of class, education and the inescapable workings of destiny.
Ah Hock is an ordinary, uneducated man born in a Malaysian fishing village and now trying to make his way in a country that promises riches and security to everyone, but delivers them only to a chosen few. With Asian society changing around him, like many he remains trapped in a world of poorly paid jobs that just about allow him to keep his head above water but ultimately lead him to murder a migrant worker from Bangladesh.



The True Queen by Zen Cho

The enchanted island of Janda Baik, in the Malay Archipelago, has long been home to witches. And Muna and her sister Sakti wake on its shores under a curse, which has quite stolen away their memories. Their only hope of salvation lies in distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal runs a controversial academy for female magicians. But the pair travel via the formidable Fairy Queen’s realm, where Sakti simply disappears.
To save her sister, Muna must learn to navigate Regency London’s high society and trick the English into believing she’s a magical prodigy. But when the Sorceress Royal’s friends become accidentally embroiled in a plot – involving the Fairy Queen’s contentious succession – Muna is drawn right in. She must also find Sakti, break their curse and somehow stay out of trouble. But if fairyland’s true queen does finally return, trouble may find her first . . .




In the highlands of Malaya, a woman sets out to build a memorial to her sister, killed at the hands of the Japanese during the brutal Occupation of their country. Yun Ling's quest leads her to The Garden of Evening Mists, and to Aritomo, a man of extraordinary skill and reputation, once the gardener of the Emperor of Japan. When she accepts his offer to become his apprentice, she begins a journey into her past, inextricably linked with the secrets of her troubled country's history.



Lake Like a Mirror by Ho Sok Fong

By an author described by critics as 'the most accomplished Malaysian writer, full stop'. Lake Like a Mirror is a scintillating exploration of the lives of women buffeted by powers beyond their control. Squeezing themselves between the gaps of rabid urbanisation, patriarchal structures and a theocratic government, these women find their lives twisted in disturbing ways.
In precise and disquieting prose, Ho Sok Fong draws her readers into a richly atmospheric world of naked sleepwalkers in a rehabilitation centre for wayward Muslims, mysterious wooden boxes, gossip in unlicensed hairdressers, hotels with amnesiac guests, and poetry classes with accidentally charged politics - a world that is peopled with the ghosts of unsaid words, unmanaged desires and uncertain statuses, surreal and utterly true.


That's it for March's WorldReads from Malaysia. I hope I have tempted you to try reading a book from this country and if you want more suggestions, click through to see all my Literary Flits reviews of Malaysian-authored books!


If you missed any earlier WorldReads posts, I have already 'visited'

Africa: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, United States of America,

Asia: China, India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Turkey

Australasia: Australia, New Zealand,

Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales

In April I will be highlighting five books by Egyptian authors. See you on the 5th to find out which ones!

6 comments:

  1. A couple of those covers are fun. I haven't read any of those.

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    1. I think I like the True Queen cover best :-)

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  2. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book from Malaysia. These sound pretty good though!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Malaysia turned out to be one of my favourite countries for novels, based on these five I've read so far. All with very good or excellent star ratings!

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  3. After reading your recommendations I realised that I never read something about Malaysia - I really must do this soon, thanks for the list!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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    1. Malaysia has such an interesting history and I think this made for good storylines for several of these novels :-)

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