Fragile Monsters: Catherine Menon in Conversation

Hong Kong International Literary Festival and Bookazine invite you to meet Catherine Menon, the author of a spellbinding debut novel set in Malaysia, about unravelling family secrets across generations and continents. 


Mary is a difficult grandmother for Durga to love. She is sharp-tongued and ferocious, with more demons than there are lines on her palms. When Durga visits her in rural Malaysia, she only wants to endure Mary, and the dark memories home brings, for as long as it takes to escape.

But a reckoning is coming. Stuck together in in the rising heat, both women must untangle the truth from the myth of their family's past. What happened to Durga's mother after she gave birth? Why did so many of their family members disappear during the war? And who is to blame for the childhood tragedy that haunts her to this day?




By Catherine Menon

Fragile Monsters by Catherine Menon




Menon traces one family's story from 1920 to the present, unravelling a thrilling tale of love, betrayal and redemption against the backdrop of natural disasters and fallen empires. Written in vivid technicolour, with an electric daughter-grandmother relationship at its heart, Fragile Monsters explores what happens when secrets fester through the generations.

'Menon’s first novel has a moreish quality: even when you reach the end, you’ll want more.' 

- Charmaine Chan,
SCMP Post Magazine

‘Supple, artful, skilful storytelling – it takes an immediate grip on the reader’s imagination and doesn’t let go’

- Hilary Mantel

‘A brilliant novel about homecoming and the layered, unstable past that haunts and hurts…I admire it enormously’

- Colm Tóibín

Catherine Menon is Australian-British, has Malaysian heritage and lives in London. She is a lecturer in robotics and has both a PhD in Pure Mathematics and an MA in Creative Writing. Fragile Monsters is her debut novel.

Mishi Saran’s first novel The Other Side of Light was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize. In 2018, Penguin reissued her acclaimed 2005 Silk Road travelogue Chasing the Monk’s Shadow. Saran is an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts (2022) and finishing a new novel about 1930s’ Shanghai.


Online Event: Catherine Menon in Conversation

Hong Kong International Literary Festival and Bookazine invite you to meet the author of Fragile Monsters, a striking debut novel about unravelling family secrets across generations and continents.

Date & Time: 
May 20th, 2021 19:00 - 20:00

Ticket and book bundle includes:

Catherine Menon in Conversation (Online Event)
A copy of Fragile Monsters by Catherine Menon
Q&A with the author: post your questions in the chat or email in advance to

A link to attend the event will be sent to the registered email address* by the event platform Crowdcast. If you are purchasing a ticket as a gift, please provide your recipient's email address(es) in the notes section of your order. Please contact if you do not receive the link within a week of purchase.

Terms & Conditions
This is a fixed price & non-returnable item. Promo codes, coupons, special online offers and promotions, VIP or member's discount cannot be used in conjunction with this item. *By purchasing tickets to this event you agree to register your email address (and/or the recipient’s email addresses provided) jointly with and Hong Kong International Literary Festival.