Malaysian literature is making its mark on the world literary map this year with Malaysian writer Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists recently being short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Marshall Cavendish International (Singapore) published TLC client and Malaysian writer Sunil Nair‘s novel When all the Lights are Stripped Away in March. The book is now available in the UK and US in paperback as well as the E-editions.
Sunil had an assessment of his novel done by TLC reader Jacob Ross. Sunil writes about his experience with TLC, ‘the (editorial assessment) report and suggestions are very thoughtful and incisive, and are more, much more, than I expected to receive. Above all, it helped confirm what I suspected were the weaknesses of the novel. And it has given me the resolve to cut and restructure along the lines Jacob has suggested to improve the novel considerably and to make it much tighter.’
The novel explores the universal themes of legacy and the complexity of inheritance against a backdrop of political conflict in contemporary Malaysia. The book follows Anil, when he receives a letter from his dying father, and he leaves his friends, his work and pregnant to journey home to the town he ran away from three years earlier after his mother died. There, in the short time left, he attempts to uncover his father’s ambitious political plans for him and who the enigmatic man is. He stumbles upon his mother’s secret collection of paintings and is forced to re-evaluate her art and what she taught him as a boy. All these discoveries pull him back to the life he had wanted to leave behind.
You can read reviews for Sunil’s book and information about his events at the Ubud Literary Festival.
Click here to listen to a reading by Sunil.