About Robert Raymer
“Rewriting my short stories have taken me places I never thought I’d go — like Borneo. I’m doing the same with my novels—you just never know.”
Robert Raymer is an American writer and writing facilitator who lives in Kuching, Sarawak on the island of Borneo.
He’s the author of Spirit of Malaysia (Editions Didier Millet 2011), Tropical Affairs: Episodes from an Expat’s Life in Malaysia (MPH 2009) and Lovers and Strangers Revisited (MPH 2008), collection of 17 short stories set in Malaysia, winner of the 2009 Popular-The Star Readers Choice Award and translated into French as Trois autres Malaisie.
Robert was born in Grove City, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Greenville and Newark, Ohio. After graduating from Miami (Ohio) University, he worked for Kinko’s in Boulder, Colorado and Madison, Wisconsin where he was a regional manager in charge of eleven stores in three states.
He then moved to Penang, Malaysia where he lived for 21 years and taught creative writing for ten years at Universiti Sains Malaysia. He also taught creative writing for three and a half years at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Named as one of the “50 Expats You Should Know” in Malaysia by Expatriate Lifestyle, Robert’s short stories and articles have been published over 500 times in The Literary Review, London Magazine, Thema, Descant, Westerly, The Writer and Reader’s Digest.
His stories have been taught in several universities and private colleges in Malaysia and also at Ohio University, where one story is being adapted into a film. Other stories have been selected for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia Literature in English in secondary schools (2008-2014), Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and one was runner-up in in 2007 Faulkner-Wisdom contest.
Robert has backpacked solo to 36 countries, taught tennis, modeled, played Santa Claus, managed a stage crew for Penang Players, danced the tango in the Oscar-winning French film Indochine (1992), and was an extra in three Hollywood productions: Beyond Rangoon, Paradise Road and Anna and the King.
He lives with his wife Jenny (a Bidayuh from Sarawak) and their two children, Jason and Justin. His son Zaini (featured prominently in Tropical Affairs) lives in Kuala Lumpur.
For readings, talks and workshops on writing please contact Robert.
Find out more about the Awards he has won.
Curious how he ended up in Borneo? Check out his Frequently Asked Questions.