Ghost Cave: a novel of Sarawak

Ghost Cave: a novel of Sarawak, winner of the inaugural Saphira Prize, 2012. Launch Date: March 28th, 2014, in Hong Kong, by the Women in Publishing Society. 


In praise of Ghost Cave:

“The calm demeanour of the modern East Asian citizen belies the region’s tumultuous history. In Ghost Cave, a modern woman investigates her family history to uncover a heart-rending tale of immigrants on the trail of gold in Borneo in the mid-1800s. Fans of historical drama will find this tale well-researched and satisfying.”

 Nury Vittachi, author of The Curious Diary of Mr Jam and The Feng Shui Detective series


“In the tradition of the folklorist, Elsie Sze presents a multigenerational tale of Sarawak past and present. Rich in historical detail, Ghost Cave unearths long-forgotten secrets and promises, to reveal the timelessness of human bonds.”

Ania Szado, author of Studio Saint-Ex and Beginning of Was


“Ghost Cave: a novel of Sarawak contains surprises at every turn. A long-ago tragedy, a buried treasure and a harrowing guerrilla war are just part of what makes this exceptional tale a highly recommended read. More importantly, it explores the heart and heartbreak of a family bound to each other across a turbulent time.”

Shannon Young, editor of How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit?

and author of The Art of Escalator Jumping


“Elsie Sze writes an engaging story of Sarawak that is both wonderfully detailed and informative. Each chapter of this compelling novel takes us deeper into the history of Borneo and into the lives of the characters.”

 Leanne Liberman, author of Gravity, The Book of Trees and Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust



Hui Gui: a Chinese story, by Elsie Sze

Hui Gui, "returning home" in Chinese, has come to designate the British handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the pivotal event that launches this epic novel of twentieth century China and Hong Kong. Hui Gui transports the reader through time and place with the memorable story of Lee Tak Sing growing up in war-torn China of the thirties and forties, and leaving the mainland for Hong Kong as a refugee following the Communist takeover in 1949. Years later, as the clock ticks towards the handover, Tak Sing's daughter, Serena, recalls her family's stories of love and loss, courage and survival. This is a tale of a homecoming, extolling the triumph of the spirit over the inevitabilities of the human predicament. 



"I think that what makes this moving novel so extraordinary is the author's profound understanding of how events shape and direct our lives, and how we are all a part of an ongoing process. Elsie Sze grasps what History is made of: Stories. And she tells her stories beautifully."

                                                                                           -- Isabel Huggan


"With grace and sensitivity, Elsie Sze shapes the poignant story of one family's struggles and convictions amidst the maelstrom of Chinese political history. Hui Gui is a moving and memorable portrait of dignity, sacrifice and enduring love."

                                                  -- Ania Szado, author of Beginning of Was


Read the review of Hui Gui in Cairns Media Magazine:


Hui Gui is available on,,, and at select Chapters/Indigo bookstores in Canada. It is in various public libraries and academic libraries in Canada and the United States. 


Read Elsie's blog entry "My Road to Self-Publishing."


The Heart of the Buddha -- a novel by Elsie Sze -- published in October, 2009  

When Marian goes missing at the end of her six-month work contract in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, her twin sister Ruth journeys from Canada to Bhutan to look for her. Learning of Marian’s love for a Bhutanese monk and her hazardous trek over a mountain pass to Tibet, Ruth fears for Marian. A sinister Tibetan also in pursuit of Marian adds to the mystery and intrigue. The novel is a tale of mystery, adventure and romance set against an enchanting backdrop of Bhutan, while it recounts two sisters’ physical and spiritual journeys to reach each other and find their true selves.


 Here's what some literary authorities say of The Heart of the Buddha:


“Elsie Sze’s The Heart of the Buddha is a passionate story of two sisters’ adventures in Bhutan. Part travelogue, part love story, Sze’s elegant prose tells a suspenseful story. I couldn’t put this book down.”


                                                -- Leanne Lieberman, author of Gravity



"In a captivating novel that sets the joys of the sisterly bond against the allure of impossible love, Elsie Sze spins a fluid story of determination, devotion and ethical dilemma. As Sze's characters grapple with disparities in cultures and spiritual beliefs, heart-rending questions are laid bare – questions of love's meaning and its ultimate costs.”


                                                 -- Ania Szado, author of Beginning of Was



  “A triple-treat, The Heart of the Buddha satisfies as a puzzling mystery, a heart-wrenching love story and a vivid travel guide to an exotic land.”

                                                             --Cairns Media Magazine




The Heart of the Buddha republished by Indian publisher

The Heart of the Buddha, a novel published in the United States five years ago, is finally being distributed at home, in the Indian subcontinent.

The Heart of the Buddha, first published in the United States in 2009 by Greenleaf Book Group, has been republished by TBI Publishers of India in 2012, for distribution in the Indian subcontinent. The novel, set in Bhutan, is finally going 'home', being made more readily available to the people of Bhutan and its neighbouring countries.