Silverfish Books - we are 21 this year!
We love good literature and try to stock only books that matter. We chose our books very carefully, curated one would say. We avoid bestsellers, and garden variety self-help and business books.
When we started publishing, our mission was to develop Malaysian writing, to internationally recognised standards. We believe we have achieved that; we have Malaysian literature translated into Italian, French and German. It had to do with lots of hard work, dedication and luck. Serendipity? Certainly.
Silverfish Books was established in 1999 as an independent bookshop focused on literature, philosophy, art and Malaysian writing in English - areas which were either totally neglected or not addressed adequately by mainstream bookstores. We essentially wanted to set up a book-boutique, an established by readers for readers with all our titles are painstakingly (and lovingly) picked, a collection unavailable in any 'mega' store anywhere.
Then we started publishing. An interesting story, that. An American English Professor from a University in Japan visited us in our early days and asked to see our Malaysian collection. We were embarrassed to death at our pathetic single shelf. We decided we should start publishing.
The rest is history, like they say. Silverfish Books is the leading imprint of quality Malaysian books in English. (Our focus is still on the local narrative, although we have done a few others.)
Besides being a bookstore and a publisher, we develop writers. We hate the word "creative writing" because we believe there's no such thing; it's a marketing gimmick with an extremely low success rate -- here, take two tablets twice a day after meals. Sorry, there's no snake oil for writing.
There's good storytelling and there's skillful writing; put them together and there's dynamite. (One can help someone with poor language skills, even a good story not properly told -- yes, there is a method to the madness -- but no one can fix a bad or non-story.)
We organise book events, writing workshops, literary festivals, and exhibitions.
(Picture shows a book event in progress at Silverfish.)