Dak li l-Lejl Ihallik Tghid
(what the night lets you say)
"Mejlak is the narrator par excellence, winning
you over effortlessly"
Charles Flores, L-Orizzont
"Tasting the joy of writing"
Stanley Borg, The Times
"Mejlak manages to hit emotional pressure points
with remarkable skill."
Teodor Reljic, MaltaToday
"Taking Maltese literature into new territories."
"A simple, unputdownable text that transforms
the mundane into an attractive fun-fair. You willingly join the
Pied Piper for the ride and enjoy every single word of it. Two thumbs
Jacques Rene Zammit, J'Accuse
"Writing, like all art, is a craft, and there
is nothing better than reading a finely crafted book. But it takes
an artist to transform that craft into something more, and that
is what Mejlak has achieved once more."
Alex Vella Gregory, The Sunday Times
"I feel this is Mejlak at his best. The book
hit me deep down, with most of the stories striking a chord from
my own life and memories. There were moments when I swore he was
pulling my leg. I had to stop and reread the paragraph to see if
I had missed my name somewhere."
Rupert Cefai, Gallery Pi Blog
"Another excellent collection of short stories.
You have to read it. If you don’t read Maltese, hard luck,
though if you don’t read Maltese even if you are Maltese,
shame on you, once, twice and a thousand times."
I. M. Beck, The Times
"Darker, intense, emotion-laden work that explores
the power of memories and nostalgia."
The Malta Independent
"A significant departure from his earlier work
- more sombre, more reflective."
Alex Grech, Malta Inside Out
"His best, most assured and sophisticated book
"Just brilliant. An excellent example of how
the Maltese language can be put to great use when a writer knows
what he's doing."
"In his new book, Mejlak takes on the role
of an explorer. Readers are in for a treat."
Michael Caruana, Il-Mument
"Hurry up, Pierre Mejlak, and write another
Corazon Mizzi, One TV
"Fresh and forward-looking"
Joyce Grech, Education 22
"This collection of short stories takes Mejlak
to the next level in his literary maturity, as the emotions explored
go deeper, the characters more scarred, the locations more lived-in."
"A delight to read. Mejlak is definitely a
notable among the modern breed of Maltese writers who have put to
rest the ghost of stilted and unimaginative narration that used
to plague what seemed to be like the majority of Maltese literature
until fairly recently."
Colin Fitz, First Magazine
"How on earth did Pierre J. Mejlak manage to
not only get us to read but also to - shock, horror - read books
Ramona Depares, The Times
"The work of a maturing voice"
Peter Farrugia, The Sunday Times
"Mejlak's writing shows the short story genre
at its best and puts paid to the myth that a short story cannot
have a strong plot and character exploration. Mejlak confirms his
reputation as an author with a penetrating eye into the psyche and
soul of fellow human beings, and does not shy away from exploring
the darker side of human nature."
Qed Nistenniek Niezla max-Xita
(I'm waiting for you to fall with the rain)
"I have honestly not been this excited by young Maltese
writers since way back in the 1970s. Malta's ever-growing cosmopolitan
nature comes out like a laser beam, seeking, finding and transfixing
you. Mejlak is a keen observer and a great collector of people's
hearts and moods. This book will go a long way towards confirming
Mejlak as one of Malta's top young writers. His uncluttered style
and a penchant for the straightforward give him the edge in present-day
Maltese Literature that is struggling albeit successfully, to claim
tomorrow as a reality and not a myth."
Charles Flores, The Times
"It’s not easy to describe Mejlak's latest
book. This is a book about being European, about being young and
inquisitive; but it's also a book about the Maltese roots that stay
with us throughout our lives, making us look back at the idiosyncracies
of living in a tiny island with attendant island mentality. With
Qed Nistenniek Niezla max-Xita (i'm waiting for you to fall with
the rain) Mejlak has grown into an artist of the written word, with
a command of the modern Maltese idiom that is difficult to match."
"Pierre J. Mejlak really comes into his own
as an astute narrator. As a child of the 80s, he describes what
it was like growing up in a very political active household. He
speaks of the political tension of the time in the matter-of-fact
tone of someone who had come to see violence and thuggish behaviour
as a way of life."
Josanne Cassar (The Independent on Sunday)
"Short stories are not a genre that I go for,
generally, but I found myself moving from one to the other at quite
a clip, probably because the language and the style were such as
to engage me very strongly. One of the stories actually moved me
to, well, if not tears, very damp eyes. This was good stuff."
I. M. Beck (The Times)
"Mejlak paints pictures with unusual colours
and brushstrokes, without explaining, because it is the story and
characters which paint themselves."
Maria Grech Ganado
"I had to read this book twice, some parts
even three times, not because it is difficult to understand, but
because it is addictively beautiful."
Alex Vella Gregory, The Sunday Times
"His many characters come to life very much
like figures in a painting."
"He has gone from a promising children's writer
to a loved and respected author, finding his place among the upcoming
Maltese writers of our generation. His work is gentle, evocative,
sensitive, and displays a curiosity about people, their lives, their
eccentricities, their meetings which might or might not change their
Sandra Aquilina, Sunday Circle
"Vibrant and forward-looking."
"Seeing a popular jazz club jampacked with
people for the launch of a book in Maltese, says a lot about how
eagerly awaited Mejlak's latest book was."
Joe Cassar, Il-Mument
"Extraordinary! Read it!"
Claire Agius, TVM
"Mejlak's voice ranges from the melancholic
to the comic, from the political to the personal - but always heartfelt
Sandra Aquilina, LetsGozo
"This book marks an important development in
Maltese Literature, quite simply because Maltese is being used to
describe the outside world first hand in the most natural way. The
resulting collection of stories is a breath of fresh air. This is
poetic pop literature, refreshingly unburdended by guilt or complexes."
David Friggieri, MaltaToday
"Like his previous work, a compulsive page
Sergio Grech, Radju Malta
"A splendid collection of emotions."
Ramona Portelli, KullHadd
"It's a pity it took me so long to discover
this gem of a book. Incredibly beautiful."
Minister George Pullicino, The Times
"Mejlak - probably the best writer of his generation
- is at his best."
"Simply put, beautiful."
Michael Caruana, In-Nazzjon
"As the Maltese proverb goes, the early morning
sun bodes well for the entire day. Mejlak takes us a stride further
in the maturation of his writing. This book confirms Mejlak as a
natural born writer, whilst marking him as an important exponent
of New Maltese Literature."
"Written as finely and as carefully as Gozitan
Jacques Rene Zammit, J'Accuse
"Mejlak casts a penetrating eye at life from
the various vantage points of eternal love, pure sex, petty politics
and friendship, all of which are soaked in rain, hence the title,
and bereft of the peace of mind one is hopelessly looking for."
"A breath of fresh air."
Charles Xuereb, Campus FM
"A compelling and moving collection of short
stories from one of Malta's most exciting and successful authors
presents colourful snapshots of lives in progress. Whether it is
life in a small Maltese village, a noisy cosmopolitan existence
or a life spent searching for identity, excitement or simply companionship,
Mejlak's exquisite prose draws the reader in and allows them to
experience the world of his creation. In this collection, the art
of the short story finds its perfect expression."
"Writing in his mother tongue is this young
author's greatest inspiration."
"A breath of fresh air in a hot and humid summer.
Mejlak is at his best, depicting the difficulties of being 15 or
16 in a village that is at least 500 years old, and has not changed
much in the meantime. I do not, by any stretch, fall into the age
bracket that this book is aimed at. Yet I am not ashamed to say
that I enjoyed reading it more than I enjoyed reading works of fiction
in Maltese meant for more adult readers. It may well be that I have
not yet grown up, but I suppose it is also because finally young
adult fiction has come of age. This is a book for young people who
want to be treated like grown ups, for grown ups who want to feel
young, and for anyone who likes a good story well told. Whatever
age you are, buy this book and read it. If your parents are still
responsible for what you read, do not tell them about it."
Dr Marco Galea, The Times of Malta
"Mejlak writes in a simple, lucid style reminiscent
of Mark Haddon. Like Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in
the Night Time, Rih Isfel belongs to the cross-over genre appealing
to teenagers and adults alike. I'd recommend Rih Isfel to anyone
wanting to exorcise the mind-numbing Maltese study texts of past
school days. Actually I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good
Dr Claire Bonello, Malta Today
"I'd wholeheartedly recommend Rih Isfel to
anyone who can read Maltese. If for no other reason, just because
it is a rare offering: a highly original, carefully thought out
piece of writing in the Maltese language. I'm mighty glad I found
the time to read it."
Dr Toni Sant, Toni Sant's Blog
"Rih Isfel strikes one
as innovative both in its narrative technique as in the issues and
themes it evokes. The story presents itself as a psychological novel
with a Maltese village, endowed with a mythical and universal significance,
as its setting."
Bernadette Pace Falzon, Il Tolomeo
"I read Rih Isfel
with a feeling of relaxed contentment that could only be had by
the pleasure of a revival of multiple memories and familiar landscapes
safely entwined within a fertile vocabulary that immediately brings
the reader close to home."
Jacques Rene Zammit, J'Accuse
Pierre J. Mejlak's Blog
"Not one to rest on his laurels, Pierre J. Mejlak emerges from
the success of his translation of a children's encyclopedia in Maltese
to continue delighting readers with his blog from Brussels. Pierre's
blog recently shifted to bilingual mode, to the delight of all readers
keen to find good writings in Maltese on the internet. As aboutmalta.com's
managing editor, he brings insights from and about Malta from the
perspective of someone equally in touch with the latest trends and
Dr Toni Sant
"Mejlak writes in splendid Maltese and his
work proves wrong all those who think that Maltese is only good
for saying hello, cheers and goodbye."
"I think Pierre Mejlak has got the potential
to become one of the most important Maltese writers of this generation."
"Having worked with Pierre Mejlak for quite
a few years now, I have been thrilled to follow his coming of age
as a writer. His affair with Brussels seems to have imbued his writing
with a smoke-and-streetlights atmosphere (sans murderers and pimps...
so far); one assumes his next character will be a mix of Bogart
in Casablanca and McGregor in Moulin Rouge keying away at his rusty
typewriter, and his blogposts are a publishing editor's dream of
a works-in-progress. Blending rural Gozo and cosmopolitan Brussels
can be tricky, but in Mejlak's case is working."
Dr Chris Gruppetta, Merlin Library
"A feast of knowledge thirsting to come out from the pages.
I must confess that I ended up reading the book page by page, as
if I were reading a novel. Reading a book like this in your own
language fills you with pride."
Sergio Grech, In-Nazzjon
"Published a mere month ago, with no launches
or fanfare, Merlin Library's latest Maltese publication - Enciklopedija
ghat-Tfal - has become a massive word-of-mouth success, smashing
first-month sales records for non-fiction in Maltese."
"It's a runaway bestseller, exceeding all expectations."
The Times of Malta
"Pierre J. Mejlak's work was not only that of a translator
(although this alone is already a daunting task), but he also took
care to adapt, simplify and give an authentic Maltese feel to the
"If you only buy one book this year, make sure
this is it!"
Tanja Cilia, The Sunday Times
Meta Nstabu l-Angli
(when the angels were found)
"The writing, the story, the illustrations, as well as a high-quality
professional presentation by Merlin Library's production team, have
all resulted in a superb package, one which will surely make Meta
Nstabu l-Angli a milestone in Maltese children's literature of the
Norbert Ellul Vincenti, The Sunday Times
"As I started reading the first few pages, I suddenly and completely
forgot that I was reading the work of a 14-year-old boy. I was immediately
struck by the details of the plot, conceived with the greatest accuracy,
the very authentic setting and atmosphere of the tale, the light
and sprightly rhythm from one chapter to the next… and above
all, the truly splendid use of Maltese!"
"The book is a solid adventure, well-endowed
with all the elements staple to that and related sub-genres within
juvenile literature. The very nature of the lack of complication,
and his good use of simple (and at times quaint and endearing) language,
will probably make this book a firm favourite in the 7-12 age bracket.
And I do not blame them, because at that age I would have devoured
it and probably reread it a dozen times myself. It is fun, very
readable and will probably be consumed by its young readers in one
sitting. It is as gripping as any Blyton books, which, given the
millions of copies sold by that author, says a lot. Mejlak handles
Maltese well. He has a natural flair for writing that will eventually
bear plots that are much more complex and characters more rounded
than in his debut. And he will handle them with ease, because the
indications are already there. Time will hone skills he already
has in abundance and possibly turn him into a very accomplished
writer. His first book is a very competent effort that will definitely
do what it has set out to do. Make children read it and ask for
Dr Gorg Mallia, The Times of Malta