Malaysian Novels in English by Local, Diasporic, and Expatriate Writers in Order of Year of First Publication (1965-2012): An Exploratory List
For the purpose of this exploratory list, the term “Malaysian novels in English” is defined here very broadly as: book-length (min. 75,000 words), single-story, fictional prose narratives published after 1965* and originally written in English by writers who present themselves (e.g. in interviews and biographical notes) as having some kind of “homeland” relationship with Malaysia.
Three kinds of “homeland” relationships are recognised:
· the “only homeland” relationship of the “home-based” writer, defined as a Malaysian citizen domiciled in Malaysia;
· the “former homeland” relationship of the “diasporic” writer, defined as a Malaysian-born and/or -bred individual who is now mainly domiciled in another country, regardless of his/her citizenship status**; and
· the “second homeland” relationship of the “expatriate” writer, defined as a foreign national (i.e. born and/or bred in, and citizen of, another country) who for personal or professional reasons, now or in the past, has made a second home in Malaysia and writes fiction with a Malaysian setting, but returns regularly (or eventually) to his/her country of origin.
Whether a novel is classified as “home-based”, “diasporic”, or “expatriate” in the following lists is determined by the novelist’s domicile at the time the novel was written or published. For instance, although Shoba Mano has emigrated, her novels are listed here as “home-based” because they were written and published while she was still domiciled in Malaysia.
* The year 1965 is chosen because in that year Singapore ceded from the Malaysian Federation, after which the two nations – and, arguably, their literatures – developed separately and in different ways.
** In classifying non-resident writers as “diasporic”, place of domicile is given precedence over citizenship status because for purposes of textual analysis, it is assumed that their choice of geographical distance will affect and influence their perceptions of the country and therefore their fictional depictions of Malaysia and Malaysians.
List A: Novels by Home-based Writers
1. Johnny Ong. Run Tiger Run. Isle of Man: Times Press, 1965. (Second edition: Kuala Lumpur: Eastern Universities Press, 1975.)
2. Anthony bin Thomas (i.e. T. J. Anthony). The Nightmare of Youth. Kuala Lumpur: Vanto Publications, 1970.
3. Tee, K. S. Jessica. Melaka: Thong Yuen Chan, 1970
4. Tan, Kheang Yeang. Sauce of Life. A Novel. Penang: Sun Printers, 1974.
5. Lloyd Fernando. Scorpion Orchid. Kuala Lumpur: Heinemann Educational Books Asia, 1976.
6. Johnny Ong. The Long White Sands. Kuala Lumpur: Syarikat Pesaka, 1977.
7. Chelvam, M. Paskra. Salem. New York: Vantage Press, 1977.
8. Anthony bin Thomas (i.e. T. J. Anthony). The Search. Kuala Lumpur: Vanto Publications, 1978.
9. Ewe Paik Leong. Bandits! Singapore: Times Books International, 1980.
10. Lee, Kok Liang. Flowers in the Sky. Kuala Lumpur: Heinemann Asia, 1981.
11. K. S. Maniam. The Return. Kuala Lumpur: Heinemann Asia, 1981.
12. Mohd. Tajuddin Samsuddin. The Price Has Been High. Kuala Lumpur: Arenabuku, 1984.
13. Chin, Kee Onn. Twilight of the Nyonyas. Kuala Lumpur: Aspatra Quest Publishers, 1984.
14. Bhattacharjee, B.C. The Immigrant. Petaling Jaya: A DavRa Book, 1989.
15. K. S. Maniam. In a Far Country. London: Skoob Books Publishing, 1993.
16. Lloyd Fernando. Green is the Colour. Singapore: Landmark Books, 1993.
17. Alex Ling. Golden Dreams of Borneo. Publisher unstated (self-published?), 1993.
18. Chuah Guat Eng. Echoes of Silence. Kuala Lumpur: Holograms, 1994.
19. Marie Gerrina Louis. The Road to Chandibole. Singapore: Heinemann Educational Books Asia, 1994.
20. Marie Gerrina Louis. Junos. Singapore: Heinemann Asia, 1995.
21. Hamid Yusof. The Thirdway Factor. Leicester: Minerva Press, 1996.
22. Alex Ling. Twilight of the White Rajahs. Kuching: Sarawak Literary Society, 1997.
23. Ellina Abdul Majid. Perhaps in Paradise. Kuala Lumpur: The Written Word, 1997.
24. Ellina Abdul Majid. Khairunnisa: A Good Woman. Kuala Lumpur: The Written Word, 1998.
25. Uma Mahendran. The Twice Born. Kuala Lumpur: Platinum Press, 1998.
26. Marie Gerrina Louis. The Eleventh Finger. Singapore: SNP Editions, 2000.
27. Shoba Mano. Love’s Treacherous Terrain. Secunderabad: Om Paperbacks, 2003.
28. Aneeta Sundararaj. The Banana Leaf Men. Kuala Lumpur: Sensations Pro, 2003.
29. K. S. Maniam. Between Lives. Petaling Jaya: Maya Press, 2003.
30. Lee Kok Liang. London Does Not Belong to Me. Petaling Jaya: Maya Press, 2003.
31. Khoo, Kheng-Hor. Taikor. Subang Jaya: Pelanduk Publications, 2004.
32. Shoba Mano. Prodigal Child. Sierra Vista, USA: Treble Hearts Books, 2005.
33. Adibah Amin. This End of the Rainbow. Penang: Phoenix Press, 2006.
34. Khoo, Kheng-Hor. Mamasan. Subang Jaya: Pelanduk Publications, 2007.
35. Khoo, Kheng-Hor. Nanyang: The Lure of the Southern Ocean to Lands of Opportunity & Danger. Subang Jaya: Pelanduk Publications, 2007.
36. Brian Gomez. Devil’s Place. Kuala Lumpur: Idle Minds, 2008.
37. Shahriza Hussein. Legacy. Kuala Lumpur: Editions Didier-Millet, 2008.
38. Kuan, Guat Choo. Mouse Clutching Winter Melon. Ipoh: Scribers Ideashop, 2008.
39. Shaari Isa. Kirkby: The Life and the Loves. Auckland: The Right Connection, 2009.
40. Khoo, Kheng-Hor. Sifu: An Unusual Teacher in the Turbulence of the Malayan War. Subang Jaya: Pelanduk Publications, 2009.
41. Kuan, Guat Choo. Or Rau. Ipoh: Scribers Ideashop, 2009.
42. Chuah Guat Eng. Days of Change. Kuala Lumpur: Holograms, 2010.
43. Mohd. Rozlan Noor. 21 Immortals: Inspector Mislan and the Yee Sang Murders. Kuala Lumpur: Silverfish, 2010.
45. Iskandar Al-Bakri. The Beruas Prophecy. Kuala Lumpur: Silverfish, 2011.
46. Kuan, Guat Choo. 4…5…6. Ipoh: Kuan Guat Choo, 2011.
47. Mohd. Rozlan Noor. Duke: Inspector Mislan & the DUKExpressway Murders. Kuala Lumpur: Silverfish, 2011.
48. Mohd. Rozlan Noor. UTube: Inspector Mislan and Utube Serial Rapes. Kuala Lumpur: Silverfish, 2012.
List B: Novels by Diasporic Writers
1. Beth Yahp. The Crocodile Fury. Petaling Jaya: Strategic Information Research Development, 1995. First published in Australia in 1992.
2. Tunku Halim Abdullah. Dark Demon Rising. Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk, 1997.
3. Yang-May Ooi. The Flame Tree. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1998.
4. Yang-May Ooi. Mindgame. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2000.
5. Tunku Halim Abdullah. Vermillion Eye. Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk, 2000.
6. Shirley Geok-lin Lim. Joss and Gold. New York: Feminist Press & Singapore: Times Book International, 2001.
7. Rani Manicka. The Rice Mother. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2002.
8. Joshua Parapuram. Blue Moon. Kuala Lumpur: Silverfish, 2004.
9. Tash Aw. The Harmony Silk Factory. London: HarperCollins Fourth Estate, 2005.
10. Shirley Geok-lin Lim. Sister Swing. Singapore/London: Marshall Cavendish, 2006.
11. Tan Twan Eng. The Gift of Rain. Newcastle-upon Tyne: Myrmidon Books, 2007.
12. Chiew-Siah Tei. Little Hut of Leaping Fishes. Picador, 2008.
13. Preeta Samarasan. Evening is the Whole Day. Chicago: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008.
14. Shamini Flint. Inspector
15. Shamini Flint. Inspector
16. Tash Aw. Map of the Invisible World. London: HarperCollins Fourth Estate, 2009.
17. Yap, Chan Ling. Sweet Offerings. Indepenpress Publishing Ltd, 2009.
18. Rani Manicka. The Japanese Lover. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2010.
19. Shamini Flint. Inspector
List C: Novels by Expatriate Writers
1. Hickling, R.H. Lieutenant Okino. London: Hutchinson of London, 1968. (Reprinted as Hickling, Hugh, Crimson Sun Over Borneo: A Novel. Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk Publications, 1997.)
2. Hickling, R. H. A Prince of Borneo. Singapore: Graham Brash, 1985.
3. Linehan, Fergus. Under the Durian Tree. London: Pan Books. 1996.
4. Lees, Frederick. The Malayan Life of Ferdach O’Haney. Singapore: Monsoon Books, 2010.
6. Callan, Paul. The Dulang Washer. Kuala Lumpur: MPH Group Publishing, 2011
7. Callan, Paul. Shadow beneath the Fronds. Kuala Lumpur: MPH Group Publishing, 2012
8. Ismail, Barbara. Shadow Play: the first in a New Detective Series set in Kelantan, Malaysia. Singapore: Monsoon Books, 2012
Prepared by Chuah Guat Eng, PhD, 15 February 2013