A bit old this, but Susan Abraham reports that a Malaysian writer has successfully had his book accepted by Gregory & Company, a British literary agency, and the book has already been sold to a publisher, Myrmidon Press.
Tan Twan Eng's debut novel, The Gift of Rain, concerns a young half-chinese boy, Philip, who meets a Japanese diplomat on the eve of World War II. Due to his mixed parentage, he is considered an outsider by his peers. But Philip finds a true sense of belonging with his new friend, Hayato Endo, who teaches him about Japanese culture and the martial art of aikido. But when the war starts, his friend proves to be a spy and Philip is put in a dangerous situation to protect his family. Expect the book sometime in autumn this year.
Wonder how much Tan got for his advance? Tee hee!
Actually, I'm wondering more about the reason why Malaysian writers like to set their books during the Japanese Invasion. It's great and all, and I'm not yawning over that particular period just yet, but I have a feeling we'll be beating this horse long past it's expiry date. Catharsis is good, I know--and I'm going a little into rant mode here--but I do hope future Malaysian books will be a little more diverse in their settings. And I don't mean John Ling diverse. I mean I would prefer other aspects of Malaysian society being shown. Bonus points if it is contemporary. (Should I wish for a sci-fi story too? Not sure if I want to tread down that path just yet...)
In any case, I wish Tan Twan Eng the best of writer's luck. If he does a reading in KL, I'm there!
Here are some links for you to peruse: