The Zen Cat

In the autumn of 2015, author Suria Tei moved to a new home, at which she befriended her neighbour’s cats. One of them, in particular, paid frequent visits to her and, as time went by, helped her to ease her grief and depression.

In the company of B, Tei threads through past and present, recalling the stray cats of her childhood and the people who shared the unfortunate fates with them, how she had found solace from a vulnerable kitten only to be denied it by the adults, and how she was forced to take part in abandoning and destroying the felines. Every cat that crossed her path left a significant mark in her young heart.

Her observations of the cats’ world help Tei to gain insights into life.


This is the Malaysian edition of my memoir, published by Clarity Publishing in November 2021.

To purchase the book, please click here.

During a Scottish summer, author Suria Tei was struck by an acute psychotic episode that left her mentally paralysed. After a few sessions of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), she gradually regained awareness.

As she recovered from her ordeal, Tei delved into the roots of her chronic depression and psychosis, eventually finding answers in her formative years growing up in a conventional Malaysian Chinese family.

From grief to depression, from psychosis to catharsis, from East to West, Tei shares her past encounters and insights into life with an unflinching honesty. Unspoken is a journey of self-discovery and understanding how the past conditions our present.

Unspoken: Living with Mental Illness

This is the Amazon edition of my memoir, available on Amazon across the world.


‘A courageous memoir filled past brimming with life, grief and compassion, and mediated with a raw lyrical intensity. This is a moving and important evocation of the moments that make one writer’s life, and a demonstration that life – vivid, indelible life – requires great resilience, understanding, forgiveness and grace.’ ~~ Kevin MacNeil


In the summer of 2018, author Suria Tei was struck by an acute psychotic episode that rendered her mentally paralysed. A few sessions of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) later, she gradually regained awareness.

As she was recovering from the ordeal, Tei tried to delve into the roots of her mental instability: her chronic depression and psychosis. It became a journey of self-discovery, during which she recounted her past, relating her experience of growing up in a conventional Chinese family in Malaysia and demonstrating how it has conditioned her to become who she is.

From grief to depression to psychosis, from East to West, Tei overcame hurdles and emerged to share her past encounters and her insight into life.

Written with love, Unspoken is a companion to persons suffering from mental disorders, as well as to their love ones.


Mouse DeerThe Mouse Deer Kingdom

​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 the 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 the native lives in their new home.


Little HutLittle Hut of Leaping Fishes

​It’s 1875 and at the Chai mansion, two babies are born just minutes apart.  As the first grandson of Master Chai, Mingzhi’s life is already mapped out, and he is destined to inherit great wealth and power.  His younger brother, Mingyuan, is not so lucky; as second grandson, he will remain forever in his older brother’s shadow.  As the two boys grow, so too their differences.  While Mingzhi seeks to ecape the confines and corruption of the family mansion through learning — and, later, marriage — Mingyuan is seduced by the seedier side of life.