Do Sabah and Sarawak have more than just folktales to write about?

If you’re not from there (or maybe especially if you’re from there), just hearing the names “Sabah” and “Sarawak” will probably evoke a thousand images – of lush jungles and oil platforms; hornbills, orang utans and giant cat statues; the elaborate costumes of native peoples, the shadow of Mount Kinabalu and the flowing Rajang River.

What might not come to mind are books. There is a “rich and diverse” publishing scene, as Kuching-based academic Patrick Yeoh puts it, but it’s not a scene that is particularly well-known beyond Sabahan and Sarawakian borders. Many of the books that do emerge tend to focus on the colourful myths and customs of the people from the two states.

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