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Olivia and Sophia

Olivia and Sophia
  • Author(s): Rosie Milne
  • Location(s): Java, Malaysia (Malaya), Singapore, Sumatra
  • Genre(s): Fiction, Historical
  • Era(s): 19th Century

Two audacious women; one remarkable man … When Raffles sets sail from the cold, damp confines of Georgian London to make his name and fortune in the tropics, he takes with him his new wife, Olivia, a raffish beauty...

Railroad of Death

Railroad of Death
  • Author(s): John Coast
  • Location(s): Singapore, Malaysia (Malaya), Thailand
  • Genre(s): Historical, Autobiography/Memoirs
  • Era(s): WW2

A bestseller in 1946, Railroad of Death is the first and best account of forced labour on the Burma Railway. John Coast was a young officer in the Norfolk Regiment who was taken prisoner at the Fall of Singapore...

Ru

Ru
  • Author(s): Kim Thuy
  • Location(s): Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Malaysia (Malaya), Montreal
  • Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs, Fiction
  • Era(s): Mid 1970s onwards

Ru: In Vietnamese it means lullaby: in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow – of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy’s Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the...

Stranded

Stranded
  • Author(s): Emily Barr
  • Location(s): Perhentian Islands
  • Genre(s): Thriller
  • Era(s): Modern

Bruised from the breakdown of her marriage, Esther Lomax needs to get away, and Malaysia’s unspoilt shores seem the perfect place. But a day’s boat trip takes a desperate turn when Esther and six other holidaymakers are taken to...

The Concubine’s Child

The Concubine’s Child
  • Author(s): Carol Jones
  • Location(s): Kuala Lumpur
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): 1930s and contemporary

In 1930s Malaya a sixteen-year-old girl, dreaming of marriage to her sweetheart, is sold as a concubine to a rich old man desperate for an heir. Trapped, and bullied by his spiteful wife, Yu Lan plans to escape with...

The Gift of Rain

The Gift of Rain
  • Author(s): Tan Twan Eng
  • Location(s): Malaysia (Malaya), Penang
  • Genre(s): Fiction, Historical
  • Era(s): Before WW2 onwards

This is the story of Philip Hutton, as he grapples with his guilt and pain and the choices he had to make when the Japanese attacks Malaya and his home of Penang

The Glass Palace

The Glass Palace
  • Author(s): Amitav Ghosh
  • Location(s): Burma (Myanmar), India, Malaysia (Malaya)
  • Genre(s): Fiction, Historical
  • Era(s): Second half 19th century onwards

Beginning in 1885, with the British invasion of Mandalay and the capture of the Burmese king and queen, and encompassing over 100 years to modern-day India and Burma (Myanmar), Amitav Ghosh has created in The Glass Palace a monument...

The Harmony Silk Factory

The Harmony Silk Factory
  • Author(s): Tash Aw
  • Location(s): Malaysia (Malaya)
  • Era(s): 1930s/1940s

Set in Malaysia in the 1930s and 40s, with the rumbling of the Second World War in the background and the Japanese about to invade, The Harmony Silk Factory is the story of four people: Johnny, an infamous Chinaman...

The Hour before Dawn

The Hour before Dawn
  • Author(s): Sara MacDonald
  • Location(s): Bay of Islands, Malaysia (Malaya), Singapore
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): 1970s and modern

rich, multi-generational saga, set in Singapore and New Zealand. The mysterious disappearance of a young child sets in motion a series of events that will haunt future generations of the family. Singapore in the 1970s. A handsome army officer...

The Orientalist and The Ghost

The Orientalist and The Ghost
  • Author(s): Susan Barker
  • Location(s): Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Malaya)
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): 1950s to modern

Malaya 1951, Christopher Milnar falls passionately in love with Chinese nurse Evangeline in a jungle resettlement camp – an affair that ends in tragedy when, under attack from Communist guerrillas, Christopher is betrayed, beaten and left for dead. Half...

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