It all started when…

Epigram Books had its roots in 2011 in Singapore as a division of the award-winning communications design firm, Epigram. Since then, it has published several award-winning titles, including The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, State of Emergency and The Gatekeeper. In 2017, Epigram Books launched its UK imprint, with the aim to bring the best of Singaporean and Southeast Asian literature to the UK and beyond. Check out the range of titles here.

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Regrettable Things That Happened Yesterday

by Jennani Durai

When Amala Rose burst into her house after running all the way from school to escape the noise that was echoing through the streets and found the rooms empty and her family missing, she thought the only thing she could possibly think: the rapture had happened...

Thus begins “Revelation to Amala Rose”, one of the quirky tales in Regrettable Things That Happened Yesterday, the devilishly delightful debut collection of short stories by former journalist Jennani Durai.
How can we know if we’re doing the right thing until it’s done? Actions and consequences take on deeper meaning in the ten stories found here, whether it’s a teenager discovering his grandfather's secret dark past; or a man is tasked with bringing the corpse of his estranged brother home from Phuket; or a news reporter torn between doing what her editor wants and respecting her friend’s privacy after a grisly murder occurs.
Regrettable Things was also nominated for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018.

“Complex yet clear, heartbreaking yet hopeful, sharp-witted yet compassionate. Jennani Durai is an exciting new voice in literature, a writer to watch!”
Tayari Jones, multi-award-winning author of An American Marriage

“An impressive balance between wry observations and intimacy. Her characters are honestly rendered and they draw the reader into their world with strength and elegance. These stories highlight the pains and triumphs of straddling different cultures.”
Balli Kaur Jaswal, author of Sugarbread, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

“These stories are equal part tender stirrings and sharp ripples of humour. She situates in the centre characters who would normally have been peripheral.”
Pooja Nansi, Singapore Writers Festival director and author of Love is an Empty Barstool

Durai doesn't sugarcoat the everyday tragedies of being a minority in Singapore. Instead, she brings you tales of how what is reported is often less than what is said, and far less than what we mean to say – a debut collection of immense skill and wit.”
Ann Ang, author of Bang My Car

About the author: Jennani Durai is a former journalist, a VONA/Voices fiction fellow for 2016, and a co-author of the official commemorative book of Singapore’s 50th birthday, Living the Singapore Story (2015). Jennani was selected for the Ceriph Mentorship Programme (Prose), and received the third prize as well as an honourable mention in the 2015 Golden Point Awards. She currently lives in Guatemala with her husband, and Regrettable Things That Happened Yesterday is her debut collection of short fiction.


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The Last Immigrant

by Lau Siew Mei

Ismael, a Singaporean Muslim, immigrates to Australia and settles in a bucolic Brisbane cul-de-sac. Ironically, his job is to decide whether asylum seekers get to stay in the country – a dilemma that reminds him of his own immigrant status.
Then, his life begins to take on the hue of a nightmare when a neighbour commits suicide, his wife dies of cancer, his daughter leaves him, his Siamese cat disappears, and he receives an anonymous note: “We were here first. We will decide who comes into this suburb ... and who remains!” Just what can Ismael do?

Critical praise:
“An undoubtedly important novel.” – Professor Donna Lee Brien, co-editor of Recovering History Through Fact and Fiction

About the Author: Lau Siew Mei was born and raised in Singapore. She previously wrote two novels, Playing Madame Mao and The Dispeller of Worries, and a children’s illustrated middle grade book, Yin’s Magic Dragon. The Last Immigrant is her third novel.
Her short stories have been broadcast on the BBC World Service and ABC Radio National, and published in Australia, USA, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK. She has been shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and Best Emerging Queensland Author in the QLD Premier’s Literary Awards, a Varuna Residential Writers’ Fellowship and an Asialink Literature Residency in Malaysia.