Out on 15 August 2024

The Accidental Malay

Karina Robles Bahrin

15 August 2024
320 pages


Winner of the Epigram Books Fiction Prize
‘Slick, sharp . . . a joy to read’ Tash Aw

Jasmine Leong is the heiress apparent to Phoenix, her family’s billion-ringgit company known especially for its pork snacks. When her grandmother, the great Madame Leong, unexpectedly passes away, Jasmine discovers she is actually a Malay Muslim and this newfound identity threatens to upend her life and ambitions.

Finding herself at the centre of a political controversy, and caught between two men who love her, The Accidental Malay examines the human cost of a country’s racial policies and paints a portrait of a woman unwilling to accept the fate history has designated for her.

'A novel both generous and scathing; both honest and nuanced; both grounded in human emotion and engaged with history and politics' Preeta Samarasan, author of Evening Is the Whole Day

A sharply observed, elegantly crafted culture-clash state-of-the-nation drama that is not only witty but heartfelt.
Desire, religion and politics collide in this delicious debut . . . Slick, sharp and full of the frustrations and joys of modern urban Malaysia
A deeply nuanced study in the sometimes suffocating intertwining of race and religion for Malay-Muslims.