“Living overseas as an expatriate you’re exposed to different cultures, different customs and different ways to view the world…none of which you’ll agree with.” – Robert Raymer

If you can’t find Robert’s books in your local book store, order these books by contacting the author.

Trois autres Malaisie

Trois autres Malaisie is the French translation of Lovers and Strangers Revisited.

Book introduction
[dl text=”Book excerpts”]Feuilleter-Trois-autres-Malaisie.pdf[/dl]


Spirit of Malaysia

by Robert Raymer

To think of the spirit of Malaysia is to conjure up images of celebration and festivity, a sweeping panorama of kampongs to longhouses, temples and mosques, sleepy provincial towns and modern cities. A fascinating fusion of tradition and modernity is set amidst a tropical backdrop of lush rainforest, languid rivers and stunning beaches. Here too are to be found an alluring mix of peoples, religions, customs, architecture and experiences—with Malays, Chinese, Indian, European, Arab, Thai, and indigenous influences blending to create a truly unique nation, rich in culture and heritage.

E-book sampling
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Tropical Affairs

by Robert Raymer

Nominated for 2010 Popular-The Star Reader’s Choice Award

Robert Raymer has had the pleasure of chasing after a madwoman who stuffed his letter down her blouse, being trapped by a monitor lizard inside his own house, and being frisked by three men wearing pincushion.

He’s had close encounters with several Emmy- and Oscar-winning directors and actresses, including Bruce Beresford, John Boorman, Glenn Close, Catherine Deneuve, and Jodie Foster.

He’s been arm-twisted into playing Santa Claus, misled on a night hike, and stood up on Valentine’s Day! He’s held a live crocodile in his arms and survived two operations with two of his sons, who naturally got all the attention. He’s been an extra in five movie scenes, written four books, fathered three sons, taught in two universities, and has, on more than one occasion, been completely out of luck!

In Tropical Affairs, a collection of creative non-fiction, the author gives a lush, multi-layered rendition of the Malaysian way of life, colored and influenced by his own experiences living in Malaysia.

In Robert’s Own Words

“Most of these narratives were written as a counterbalance to the fiction that I was writing, prompted by several important firsts: a first movie (Indochine), a first child (Zaini), a first book (Lovers and Strangers), and my first teaching job (Universiti Sains Malaysia). Some of them capture moments that are light-hearted, almost flippant, while others are reflective, even soul-searching, especially when I was going through the throes of divorce.”

“They were written to make sense of my life in Malaysia and for turning what I had experienced, both good and bad, into life lessons, for which I have not only become wiser but also gotten paid— whether as a father, as a teacher, as a writer, as an expat, even as myself. Some, including a few recent additions, have never before appeared in print. Most have been published more than once in various countries, beginning with Malaysia, where I spent 21 years in Penang before moving to Sarawak.”

“Since the birth of my son, Zaini, I have been compiling all the articles that involved him and have looked forward to the day when I could present them to him, hoping he could understand more about me as a father and learn more about himself as a child, just in case he wanted to sue me for embarrassing him.”

“Now I can present him this book so that he can perhaps appreciate how his life has enriched mine, and how his antics have even amused those who first read about him in the “Sunday Style” section of the New Straits Times, where many readers had encouraged me to write more about him. I just hope he doesn’t toss the book aside, as he did the first one I gave him as a toddler!”

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Lovers and Strangers Revisited

by Robert Raymer

In this collection of 17 stories, Robert Raymer portrays the traditional in modernity, the unexpected in relationships both familiar and strange, the recurring theme of race even as contemporary Malaysia finds ways to understand its multicultural milieu.

In the title story, a selfish writer gets more than he bargained for when former lovers haunt him in more ways than one. In another story, a man’s loneliness turns into obsession when he shares a taxi ride with a Malay woman. A Clark Gable lookalike is a barrister wannabe with a shocking secret and gossipy neighbours reveal more about themselves than the man who commits suicide. Elsewhere, expats cross the border to Had Yai to experience a good bargain in the Thai flesh trade before going home to their wives in America.

In this republished edition of Lovers and Strangers Revisited (winner of the Popular-The Star Reader’s Choice Awards 2009 for fiction), Raymer’s snapshots of scenes from various walks of life provide an insider-outsider view on love, family and culture, and urges a second look at ourselves in the mirror of self-awareness.

  • Introduction to Lovers and Strangers by Robert Raymer
    (Download — File format: PDF | Size: 113kb)
  • Article: Inspiring Others to Write by Robert Raymer
    (Download — File format: PDF | Size: 17kb)
  • “Neighbors” story
    (Download the full short story for FREE — File format: PDF | Size: 45kb)

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Silverfish New Writing 4

editor Robert Raymer

The 26 short stories selected for Silverfish’s fourth anthology are international writers most of whom have some connection with Penang or Malaysia.

The contexts and themes of the stories vary a great deal but each conveys with telling clarity something of the sadnesses, joys and complexities of real life today.

Download Robert’s foreword
(File format: PDF | Size: 33kb)


25 Malaysian Short Stories: Best of Silverfish New Writing 2001-2005

editor Nesa Sivagnanam

Released by Silverfish Books to commemorate the fifth year of the Silverfish New Writing series, and due to the numerous requests for an anthology of entirely Malaysian Short Stories.

Robert Raymer’s story “Waiting for My Father to Crash” is featured in this book.


Collateral Damage

editor Sharon Bakar

The chillingly clinical phrase collateral damage was originally coined by the Pentagon during the first Gulf War.

It was used to euphemistically refer to the deaths and maiming (to say nothing of destroyed livelihoods, disrupted family lives and lost hopes) of innocent civilians who got caught in the crossfire. It rendered those casualties invisible in official reports and television broadcasts, and effectively kept them off the public conscience.

Robert Raymer’s story “Lester is Lester” is featured in this book.


Silverfish New Writing 5

editor Dr Ronald D Klein

This time round we feature 23 writers; twelve are from (i.e live in) Malaysia.

Eight writers (also by place of residence) are from Singapore including Robert Yeo (poet, playwright and writer), Michael Vatikiotis (former editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review), Lim Thean Soo (posthumous) and Goh Sin Tub (posthumous). Of the others, two writers Jane Downing and Craig Cormick, are from Australia and Lawrence Gray is from Hong Kong.

Robert Raymer’s story “Waiting for My Father to Crash” is featured in this book.

If you can’t find Robert’s books in your local book store, order these books by contacting the author.