Colony, Nation, and Globalisation

Not at Home in Singaporean and Malaysian Literature


Eddie Tay

ISBN : 978-988-8028-73-3

Literary Studies

December 2010

176 pages, 6″ x 9″

Not for sale in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, or the Philippines

  • HK$350.00
No longer available

Also available in Paperback HK$180.00

The literature of Malaysia and Singapore, the multicultural epicenter of Asia, offers a rich body of source material for appreciating the intellectual heritage of colonial and postcolonial Southeast Asia. Focusing on themes of home and belong, Eddie Tay illuminates many aspects of identity anxiety experienced in the region, and helps construct a dialogue between postcolonial theory and the Anglophone literatures of Singapore and Malaysia. A chronologically ordered selection of texts is examined, including Swettenham, Bird, Maugham, Burgess, and Thumboo. The genealogy of works includes travel writings and sketches as well as contemporary diasporic novels by Malaysian and Singapore-born authors based outside their countries of origin. The premise is that home is a physical space as well as a symbolic terrain invested with social, political and cultural meanings. As discussions of politics and history argument close readings of literary works, the book should appeal not only to scholars of literature, but also to scholars of Southeast Asian politics and history.

Eddie Tay is an assistant professor at the Department of English, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also the author of three collections of poetry.

“With this book, Eddie Tay makes a dynamic contribution to a new generation of scholarship on Malaysian, Singaporean and, indeed, historical Malayan literature and culture that is driven by the problem of history, cultural identity and subjectivity that ties colonial history and experiences to ‘globalised’ present. His focus on the literary renditions of home, the unhomely and freedom is vivid and creates a study that will be of interest to readers in the humanities concerned with the questions of the ambiguities of national and postcolonial identity.” —C. J. W.-L. Wee, Associate Professor of English, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; author of Culture, Empire, and the Question of Being Modern and The Asian Modern: Culture, Capitalist Development, Singapore