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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

This book contains references to topics such as physical violence, racially insensitive language, discrimination and abuse of migrant workers, and themes of sexual assault, sexual abuse and paedophilia. While the content of this novel is fictional, these topics reflect real issues.

We recognise that the ways in which readers might respond to and deal with these issues may vary, as our relationships to these topics are unique. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or not in the right headspace to experience the story, do put the book down and talk to someone about how you feel, or consult resources printed at the back of the book.

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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