Longlisted for the 2016 Epigram Books Fiction Prize
By the author of Playing Madame Mao, hailed by Time magazine as “one of the best novels ever written about Singapore”.
Ismael, a transplanted Singaporean, lives on a bucolic suburban Brisbane street. His job is to decide whether asylum-seekers get to stay in the country, a dilemma that never fails to remind him of his own immigrant status. But then his life begins to take on the hue of a nightmare: his neighbour inexplicably commits suicide, his wife dies of cancer, his daughter abandons him for the United States, and his Siamese cat goes missing.
In Lau Siew Mei’s new novel, an enclosed Australian neighbourhood becomes a microcosm of a world increasingly hostile towards migrants.
An independent publisher based in Singapore, Epigram Books is known for putting together well-designed and thought-provoking titles. It began as a division of the multiple award-winning communications design firm Epigram but registered as a separate entity in July 2011 to champion Singaporean literature.
It is best known for the middle grade series, The Diary of Amos Lee, which has sold over 240,000 copies worldwide. Other landmark publications include translations of Cultural Medallion winners and new editions of out-of-print classic Singaporean novels.
In 2014, a debut short story collection Epigram Books published, Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe, unanimously won the Singapore Literature Prize for English Fiction.
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