We are playing relatives offers a comprehensive survey of literary writing in the Malay language. It starts with the playful evocations of language and reality in the Hikayat Hang Tuah, a work that circulated on the Malay Peninsula in the eighteenth century, and follows the Malay literary impulse up to the beginning of the twenty-first century, a time when the dominant notions of Malay literature seem to fade away in the cyberspace created on the island of Java, and the Hikayat Hang Tuah’s play and dance on the sounds of Malay words seem to be infused with a new vitality. We are playing relatives covers a highly heterogeneous group of texts published over a long period of time in many places in Southeast Asia. The book is organized around a discussion of related texts that are crucial in the rise of the notion of ‘Malay literature’. Henk Maier is Luce Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He has published widely on Malay and colonial literature, and has translated a number of Malay novels and short stories into Dutch.