1st Edition

The Postcolonial Millennium New Directions in Malaysian Literature in English

Edited By Mohammad A. Quayum, Grace V.S. Chin Copyright 2024

    This book comprises a collection of essays that address a significant gap in the study of Malaysian Literature in English by exploring selected local and diasporic writings produced in the new postcolonial millennium, including works by established, emerging, and new writers.

    The literary developments in this new millennium have been substantial and are reflected in the production of new voices, viewpoints, themes, trends, styles, and forms. By articulating these changing postcolonial perspectives and conditions, the chapters in this volume can inform and enrich the study of nation, society, and culture in a globalized and hyperreal age. Tapping into the difference, diversity, and hybridity of 21st-century historicized and glocalized multicultural Malaysia, the millennium writings explore the changing identities and relations and their social, cultural, and political dimensions through the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class. By examining new, different, or changing ideas, forms, themes, and representations, this book considers the vital ways the millennium voices and viewpoints can potentially help us critically rethink and resituate postcolonial studies on Malaysia as they spotlight challenges and new directions in the field.

    The book will be of interest to researchers, academics, and scholars in the field of Malaysian writing in English, Southeast Asian literature, Asian literature, diaspora, and literary studies. The chapters in the book were originally published as a special issue in the Journal of Postcolonial Writing.

    Introduction—The postcolonial millennium: New directions in Malaysian literature in English

    Grace V.S. Chin and Mohammad A. Quayum


    1. China, Malaysia, and millennial diasporic identity in Tash Aw’s The Face and Five Star Billionaire

    Walter S.H. Lim


    2. Universalism and the Malaysian anglophone novel: Exploring inequality, migrancy, and class in Tash Aw’s We, the Survivors

    Angelia Poon


    3. Transnational re-memorialization in Preeta Samarasan’s Evening Is the Whole Day

    Ann Ang


    4. Interracial relations and the post-postcolonial future in Zen Cho’s Spirits Abroad

    Grace V.S. Chin


    5. Hyphenational poetics in Omar Musa’s Parang and Millefiori

    Weihsin Gui


    6. On not writing back: Cosmopolitan paradoxes in new diasporic Malaysian writing today

    Jason Eng Hun Lee and Sreedhevi Iyer


    7. The ruins of referentiality: Allegorical realism and traumatic fragments in Scorpion Orchid and The Search

    Augustine Chay


    8. Diffractive spaces: An analysis of Malaysian cyberpunk

    Netty Mattar


    9. Satire and community in the time of COVID-19: An analysis of Ernest Ng’s Covidball Z

    Susan Philip


    Mohammad A. Quayum is a full-time researcher and Professor in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University, Australia. He taught at universities in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, and the US before returning to his alma mater, Flinders University, in 2020. He has published numerous books and articles in American, Bengali, and Southeast Asian literature. His books on Malaysian anglophone literature include Colonial to Global: Malaysian Women’s Writing in English 1940s-1990s (2003), One Sky, Many Horizons: Studies in Malaysian Literature in English (2014), and Reading Malaysian Literature in English: Ethnicity, Gender, Diaspora, and Nationalism (2021).

    Grace V.S. Chin is Senior Lecturer in English Language Studies at Universiti Sains Malaysia. She specializes in postcolonial Southeast Asian literatures in English and has published journal articles and essays on writers and literary works from Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. She has also published edited and co-edited volumes, the latest of which is Translational Politics in Southeast Asian Literatures: Contesting Race, Gender, and Sexuality (2021).