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The Mouse Deer Kingdom

Chiew-Siah Tei

The year is 1905 and Chai Mingzhi, an immigrant newly arrived in the port-town of Malacca, takes Engi, an indigenous boy from the tropical forest, to live with him. Trapped in a realm he doesn’t recognize and finding himself caught up in Chai Mingzhi’s bitter personal affairs, Engi quickly learns to take on the shape of the legendary mouse deer in order to survive in the outside world. Twenty years later, Engi sets out to unravel the mystery surrounding Chai’s past, his tireless quest for the land where the grand Minang Villa is built, and the tragedy that destroyed him.

The Mouse Deer Kingdom is a tale of love and betrayal against the backdrop of a troubled time when hundreds of thousands of Chinese fled poverty and the Qing Empire for Southeast Asia, where their arrival unsettled native life in their new home.

Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 978033045443801
Published: 10/10/2013

Chiew-Siah Tei

Chiew-Siah Tei

Chiew-Siah Tei was born and raised in Tampin, a small town in southern Malaysia. A bilingual writer, she has won a series of awards for her Chinese prose, including the Hua Zong International Chinese Fiction Award. She wrote the script for Night Swimmer, which won Best Short Film at the Vendome International Film Festival, and her play, Three Thousand Troubled Threads, was staged at the Edinburgh International Festival. She came to the UK to study in the 1990s, and now lives in Glasgow. Her first novel, Little Hut of Leaping Fishes, was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2007.

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It’s an extraordinary story... such a highly sophisticated storyteller’s book that turns our conventional notions of colonial expansion and exploitation inside out and upside down.
Hilary Spurling