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Fragile Monsters


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A spellbinding novel of war and family betrayal set in Malaysia - The God of Small Things for our century

About the Author

Catherine Menon is Australian-British, has Malaysian heritage and lives in London. She is a University lecturer in robotics and has both a PhD in pure mathematics and an MA in Creative Writing. Fragile Monsters is her debut novel.


Supple, artful, skilful storytelling - it takes an immediate grip on the reader's imagination and doesn't let go
A brilliant novel about homecoming and the layered, unstable past that haunts and hurts . . . I admire it enormously
An impressive debut, atmospheric and unsettling * Telegraph, 5 stars *
A striking debut . . . A bold, interesting novel . . . I'm excited to see what Menon comes up with next * Sunday Times *
A bravura debut novel . . . It's clever, satisfying, and often playful * Guardian *
This is a book saturated with the sensations of southeast Asia; where, in Menon's pungent turns of phrase, you feel as though you could "grab the air in two hands and wring it out"; where guilt can be "squatting in the room . . . stringy as spit", and where tiger princes and jungle spirits lurk amid a painful colonial past * The Times, pick of the latest fiction *
A rich and moving family history takes shape, filled with love and heartache, guilt and grief, and no end of secrets and lies . . . Gripping, compelling . . . Menon's story shows that, though time flows on, history's waves still ripple decades downstream * Economist *
Menon is a sparky storyteller whose thickly atmospheric debut keeps us guessing as its many ghosts press in ever closer * Daily Mail *
A beautiful, richly textured absorbing read. I was utterly transported * Irenosen Okojie *
A propulsive debut scattered with gems of fresh and surprising imagery. Menon is at her best exploring the intricate bond between women over generations, their histories strung tight over the fraught realities of a nation coming into being * Preti Taneja *
Always here for a cross-generational family story, especially one that involves moral ambivalence * Marian Keyes selection for her PageTurners top reads *
An intriguing, fast-paced, imaginative novel * Bad Form *
A beautifully written story of one Indian Malaysian family's history, entwined with secrets and hidden heartbreak . . . Fragile Monsters is a story of homecoming which illustrates the tension of returning to a past which remains painfully present . . . a cleverly-crafted family saga which explores themes of truth, belonging and shame across multiple generations * Asian Review of Books *
Leavened with a brisk, dry humour, Fragile Monsters is as propulsive as any mystery, with a bewitching sense of place . . . an accomplished feat of multi-stranded storytelling * Evening Standard *
Lyrically beautiful writing * i *
Spellbinding * Tatler Malaysia *
A story about love, betrayal and redemption with an electric daughter-grandmother relationship at its heart * Sheer Luxe, reading recommendation *

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