Writings

 Books

Unspoken: Living with Mental Illness

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‘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

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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.

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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.