Sunil Nair’s When All The Lights Are Stripped Away is an intricately written coming-of-age story about a young Indian man growing up in contemporary Malaysia. …[It] is a captivating read with some beautiful descriptions of Malaysian places, politics and family life and a wonderful first novel.
Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
You can read the full review here.
I have been invited to the Singapore Writers Festival in November.
My two events are:
My First Novel
I was very pleased that When All the Lights Are Stripped Away won the Singapore Book Publishers Association Best Novel award earlier this month.
‘An engaging, atmospheric and impressive debut about family, identity and the way the past pulls on the present.’
Kelly Falconer, Asia Literary Review
Short Review in Asia Literary Review
A winning attempt for a first book. The author tangles us in a web of the joys and hardships of a feudalistic Malayalee family institution, shattered by revelations and misfortunes. Nair’s protagonist, Anil, displays depth of character, constructed through vivid and lyrical description and nuances of ‘Malaysianism’. Other character development, those of Acha and Amma, are layered with the complexities of human nature and culture.
Below is an interesting review of the book. It focuses on its political dimensions and the issue of race and religion in Malaysia, although these are meant to provide a sharp and contemporary backdrop in the novel for the exploration of the main themes of legacy and inheritance.
Race and religion are very thorny subjects in Malaysia, and the boundaries of discussion when talking about them are circumscribed bythe law and the constitution.
Follow the dicussion below the review and you will see what I mean.
Read the Malaysiakini review
The interview and feature appeared recently. Click here to read them.
“Absorbing from the first sentence, it is easy to get immersed by the interesting characters and situations that Anil encounters as a young man…For his first attempt at a novel, London-based Nair has done an admirable job. Written in a breezy, charming manner When The Lights Are Stripped Away is a tale that has the ability to get under your skin…Nair’s novel gives a breath of fresh air to Malaysian literature and has the ability to put Malaysia on the world literary map. Where All The Lights Are Stripped Away is a sensuous and rewarding read.”
Read the complete review here
I have been invited to the Ubud Literary Festival in Bali (October 3 – 7). It’s an exciting programme this year, not least because Nick Cave will be there, and I am happy to be part of a festival that celebrates local and international writing in all its forms.