Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Dulang Washer

Working on this book was fun. That the story is probably one of the better ones we've received so far this year had something to do with it. At posting time, it's still with the printers, hence the cover photo.

We intend to release it this August, but it might be in bookstores as early as next month. For a sneak peek at the novel's backstory, go here.

The Dulang Washer is set in Malaya, in 1890. In the tin-mining camps of Perak’s Kinta Valley, only the strongest and bravest survive. One day, an ox-drawn cart rolls into one such camp. Among the human cargo inside is...

Mee Ling. The young, wilful daughter of a farmer in China, her desire for freedom and independence leads to her abduction and arrival in a foreign land and perhaps a fate worse than death, if not for...

Aisha, who takes the frightened Mee Ling under her wing. Burdened by a secret tragedy and driven by a sacred vow, the mysterious Malay maiden labours as a dulang washer to support two families, while staying above the mine’s politics and fending off the advances of the mine’s unscrupulous proprietor...

Fook Sin, who has enriched himself at the expense of the mining camp's indentured labourers. He sees the camp as his fiefdom and will brook no opposition to his rule. He also covets Aisha, whom he hopes to add to his stash of secretly hoarded treasures. However, his reign will soon be threatened by...

The Dulang Washer
An Epic Tale of Love, Valour and Secrets

Paul Callan
MPH Group Publishing (2011)
Malaysian Collection/Malaysian Fiction
388 pages
ISBN: 978-967-5997-55-6

RM39.90 | Buy from:
•  Kinokuniya
Donald Redfern, a former British army officer who left his country for the chance to better his young family's life. Sent to the mine as its new overseer, Redfern finds succour from his loneliness and homesickness in Aisha's language lessons and small gestures of compassion. But he will also clash with...

Hun Yee, a young Hakka miner whose recent victory against his opium addiction allows him to once again pursue his dreams of being the boss of his own mine. But when he acts against a fellow miner’s unjust punishment, he inadvertently challenges Redfern’s authority and piques the interest of both Mee Ling and Aisha.

Of all the myriad hazards of the mining camp, which will prove to be the more dangerous: Fook Sin’s desire to cling to power and his ill-gotten wealth, or Redfern's growing obsession with Aisha, which she'd unwittingly fuelled with her kindness? And what will this mean for Hun Yee's dream, Aisha's vow and Mee Ling's hunger for freedom?

Paul Callan was born in Dublin, Ireland. His love of storytelling was fuelled while attending Chanel College in North Dublin. As a young man in London, he abandoned his first attempt at becoming a novelist in pursuit of a business career. After marrying his Malaysian wife, he visited Malaysia many times, and fell in love with the country and its people. He now divides his time between his homes in Kuala Lumpur and London. The Dulang Washer is his first novel.


  1. It sounds like a fascinating book. You must have had a blast working with this one. =)

  2. John Ling: The book is kind of fascinating, though I wouldn't say I had a "blast" with it.

    Am wondering what the reviewers have to say about it, though. The release date can't come soon enough.

    Thanks for writing in. Good weekend, John!


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