- About the Author
Ram has been ignored and dismissed his entire life. His parents patronise him, his older brother belittles him, his class pretends he doesn’t exist, and he is certain he will fail his impending A-Levels. The only good part of his life is Kass, a fellow outsider he has known since childhood. But when the bruises on Kass from her abusive father get worse and worse, Ram decides to don a mask and frighten him into changing his ways. After his scare tactic goes fatally wrong, the mask he wore calls out to him again to clean the city's filth.
Neo-noir thriller meets coming-of-age mystery, catskull explores the violence inherent in an unforgiving city and what it does to the people who inhabit it. It complicates questions of what is right, what is lawful, and who pays the price in the quest for justice.
“Myle Yan Tay’s debut novel is a sharp, dark look at the education system as a potential site of violence and harm. This is writing that doesn’t flinch and dares the reader to sit with and in discomfort while excavating deeply existential questions about what defines who we are as a society and the individuals who build (or break) it.”
—Pooja Nansi, Author of We Make Spaces Divine
“Myle Yan Tay has crafted a taut, confident narrative that flirts with—then upends and reinvigorates—the superhero genre, weaving in the beauty and pain of contemporary Singapore society. The voices ring true; the characters gently but firmly lodge themselves in your head. These fictional creations—and their obsessions and personal demons—are all too real. This compelling debut will stay with you a long time.”
—Huzir Sulaiman, Playwright and Joint Artistic Director of Checkpoint Theatre
“In catskull, Myle Yan Tay has inked a spiky, fevered fantasy of teenage alienation. Young Ram drifts through his A levels by day and commits masked crimes by night, fuelled by a volatile brew of righteous anger and simple nihilism—combined in unknown and unstable parts.”
—Jolene Tan, author of After the Inquiry
Myle Yan Tay is a writer of plays, fiction, comic books, essays, and reviews (not in that order.) He has great difficulty sticking to one thing. He is the co-editor of Brown is Redacted: Reflecting on Race in Singapore. He is an Associate Artist at Checkpoint Theatre, and he is the playwright of Brown Boys Don’t Tell Jokes (2023). Yan’s first stand-alone comic, Putu Piring, and first comic book series, Through the Longkang, are published by Checkpoint Theatre.
He is a recent recipient of the New Artist Fellowship from The School of the Art Institute Chicago, where he is currently pursuing a Masters in Creative Writing. This is his debut novel. You can find more of his work at myleyantay.com.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 472
Year Published: 2023
Size: 130mm x 200mm