KAPPA QUARTET

A NOVEL

SINGAPORE: EPIGRAM BOOKS, 2016

UNITED KINGDOM: EPIGRAM BOOKS UK, 2017


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LONGLISTED, 2015


An independent publisher based in Singapore, Epigram Books is known for putting together well-designed and thought-provoking titles. It began as a division of the multiple award-winning communications design firm Epigram but registered as a separate entity in July 2011 to champion Singaporean literature. 


SYNOPSIS

Kevin is a young man without a soul, holidaying in Tokyo; Mr Five, the enigmatic kappa, is the man he so happens to meet. Little does Kevin know that kappas—the river demons of Japanese folklore—desire nothing more than the souls of other humans.

Set between Singapore and Japan, Kappa Quartet is split into eight discrete sections, tracing the rippling effects of this chance encounter across a host of other characters, connected and bound to one another in ways both strange and serendipitous. Together they ask one another: what does it mean to be in possession of something nobody has seen before?


Located somewhere between the shattered filmic worlds of David Lynch and Satoshi Kon’s apocalyptic anime, Yam’s narrative hypnotises us into questioning our reality in ways that are terrifying, revelatory and fundamentally profound.
— Cyril Wong
Irreal and intricate, Daryl Yam’s riveting debut teases the perimeters of what a Singaporean novel can be.
— Amanda Lee Koe
Kappa Quartet builds on the promise of Daryl Yam’s short stories, and confirms that he is an author to watch. And read!
— David Peace
Yam breaks new ground in Singaporean writing with his exploration of what it means to live in this weary world, to be human, to possess (or not possess) a soul. Weaving the stories of his characters into an intricate mosaic of love and yearning and heartache and loss and death and everything else intrinsically meaningful, Kappa Quartet is a shimmering and poignant novel, an immensely sympathetic and humane exploration of our existential condition.
— Quarterly Literary Review Singapore
Set in present-day Singapore and Japan, Yam’s terrific debut novel tells a strange and shivery tale of ordinary people living side by side with kappas... Yam is one to watch.
— The Business Times
Atmospheric, surreal and masterfully told through an off-kilter cast of characters lost and lonely, this exciting new read comes from the longlist of the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize.
— The Straits Times

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