Fiction Books by Malaysian Authors You Need to Check Out

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This article is part of an ExpatGo feature on books, authors and reading in Malaysia and around Southeast Asia. To see more articles in the same series, please go to the reading series section.

With news of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest paperback publisher, opening a Southeast Asian headquarter in Singapore this year, many budding writers all over the country are itching to complete their drafts in time for the submission call for 50 lucky books to get published.

Here are some books by Malaysian authors that are already in the market to build up expectations for all the writing talent Malaysia has to offer!

Marriage and Mutton Curry

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A debut collection of short stories by renowned writer Dato Dr M. Shanmughalingam, Marriage and Mutton Curry explores the plights and triumphs of the Jaffna Tamil community in Malaya, and how the struggle for preserving traditional ways in a changing world can go right or very, very wrong.

Check out the book at GoodReads

Nights of the Dark Moon: Gothic Folktales from Asia and Africa

malaysian books

Showcasing a decade’s collection of macabre stories from regions all over Asia and Africa, Tutu Dutta unites these places with a unifying lesson: supernatural forces are not to be messed with. Take each story with a hint of caution, and the permission to experience danger in a safe place.

Check out this book at GoodReads

The Weight of Our Sky

malaysian books

Hanna Alkaf is making headlines as the newest generation of Malaysian writers with her debut novel! With an OCD-prone character narrating events occurring during the May 13 riots of 1969, the lines of racial prejudice, supernatural blame, and reality itself will be warped. Be warned, the book contains harrowing instances of mental illness that may be upsetting.

Check this book out at GoodReads

The Night Tiger

malaysian books

Focusing on the Southeast Asian legend of the man-tiger cryptid, Yangsze Choo selects 1930s colonial Malaya as backdrop for this supernatural mystery drama. Many heavy themes are explored including the class system, domestic abuse, superstition, all under the frazzle of coming-of-age issues.


Check out the book at GoodReads

Spirits Abroad

malaysian books

Short stories are always good for a captivating read, and Zen Cho’s ability to set old-school Malaysian mythology in modern settings is sure to tingle you in all the right bones. With slangs, references, and humour all tuned to local familiarity, this book is a definite must-have for those who want to find more of Malaysia to love (and fear).

Check out some reviews at GoodReads

KL Noir: Red

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Edited by Amir Muhammad, this first of four books presents Kuala Lumpur in the ways many have avoided. Sex, crime, guilt, and even possible cannibalism take centre stage. Fans of pulp-fiction-style grunge will enjoy seeing the capital city in a new light, shone down its dark, grimy crevices.

Curious? Let some fans tell you why this book is amazing at GoodReads

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