Author(s): Chiew-Siah Tei
It is 1905 and thousands of Chinese natives are fleeing poverty and the Qing Empire to work in the mines and plantations of South East Asia. Chai Mingzhi, an immigrant newly arrived in the port-town of Malacca, meets Engi, a young boy from the jungle, and takes the child to live with him.Trapped in a world he doesn't recognise 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, and sets out to unravel the mystery surrounding Chai's past and the tragedy that destroyed him.The Mouse Deer Kingdom is a tale of love and betrayal, and of the struggle to make a home in a new country. Set in a time of mass immigration, it questions the justice of the claims long-term settlers make on land and asks what rights they have to force their culture and language on others?
'Chiew-Siah Tei is a master storyteller, and a rare talent, with that magical ability of being able to weave a spell over her readers, with riveting plots and prose that glows with life' Time Out
Chiew-Siah Tei was born and raised in southern Malaysia. She came to the UK to study in the 1990s, and now lives in Glasgow. Her first novel, Little Hut of Leaping Fishes, was listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2007 and Best Scottish Fiction Prize 2008, and won Readers' Choice Award in Malaysia.