> Skip to content
  • Published: 1 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9789814954594
  • Imprint: PRH SEA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 266
  • RRP: $22.99

Nusantara - A Sea of Tales



A collection of fairy tales, folklore, fables, myths, epics, legends, wonder and magic tales from all around Southeast Asia

Nusantara - A Sea of Tales is the most comprehensive collection of folk tales, fairy tales, myths and legends from the Nusantara and Southeast Asian region, and was written to sit alongside the great anthologies of folklore from other parts of the world.

Although it is impossible to trace the origins of most of these traditional tales, we do know that these stories were used as a means to discover ourselves and the world around us. Like a living creature, these tales came into existence at some point, and have since evolved and adapted to suit the needs of the community that it finds itself in. The seafaring nature of the people in this region has no doubt contributed to the spread of these tales and explains the fascinating variations across Southeast Asia.

These rich and layered tales contain all manner of wonder, marvels and strange curiosities, and have been written to enthral a new audience. The author has delved into the history and the meaning behind these tales but like all good fairy tales and folk tales, each reader will extract their own meaning from these stories. The symbols in these stories engage our imagination and challenges us to question, discuss and unravel life's conflicts and mysteries. Herein lies the true power of these stories and the reason why these tales must be preserved and allowed to live and breathe once more.

  • Published: 1 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9789814954594
  • Imprint: PRH SEA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 266
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Heidi Shamsuddin

Heidi Shamsuddin was born in Malaysia, and spent part of her childhood growing up in Seattle, Washington and Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. After leaving school, she studied law at Nottingham University, obtained a postgraduate degree in corporate law, and after taking her Bar exams, eventually worked as a maritime lawyer in a London law firm. In 2007, she returned home and began to write fiction.

Heidi is now an award-winning author of stories inspired by Southeast Asia for both children and adults. Her first short story Johan the Honey Hunter, won the regional prize for the Eye Level Children’s Literature Award in 2012. Shortly after, she signed an eight-book contract with Oyez! Books to write The Door Under the Stairs series for children. Since then, she has written and published short stories, readers and picture books including The Malay Tale of the Pig King, which is based on the Malay epic, Hikayat Raja Babi.

In 2017, she was invited as a speaker to the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) in Singapore to talk about the folktales of the region, and in 2018 she was invited to give a TEDx talk at University of Malaya on why we still need our fairy tales. In 2017, her screenplay for Batik Girl won the Intellectual Property Creators’ Challenge (IPCC) Award and was made into an award-winning short animated film by R&D Studio and Tudidut Studio. Batik Girl has gone on to receive the Honorable Mention in Audience Favorites award at the Florida Animation Festival, Best Animated Short Film prize at the Festival de Largos y Cortos de Santiago 2019 in Chile, as well as Gold Medal in the Regional category at the 20th Digicon6 Asia in Japan.

Heidi has recently embarked on a project to collect and adapt the folklore, fairy tales, fables, myths, epics, legends, wonder and magic tales from all around the Nusantara region, with the aim of spreading and disseminating these traditional tales. As a way to reach a wider audience, she began an online project to highlight and discuss these stories on her YouTube channel (Heidi Shamsuddin) and at www.heidishamsuddin.com.

Praise for Nusantara - A Sea of Tales

Heidi Shamsuddin's retellings and reassessments of Nusantara folktales in this volume provides both scholars of Southeast Asian folklore as well as general audiences with an invaluable resource that is both entertaining and insightful. Her spirited reimaginings of these traditional narratives are crucial to the survival of the folktale as a genre, and will enable these much-loved stories to retain their relevance not just in our contemporary culture and society, but for generations to come.

Dr Sharifah Aishah Binti Osman, senior lecturer in the Department of English (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) at Universiti Malaya

Related titles