In capturing the essence of history through his works of literature, K.S. Maniam is a Malaysian writer of Indian origin who constantly gives reminiscence of the Indian immigrant for the later generations of Malaysian Indians. In doing so, he makes it possible for the ethnic Indian roots and routes to be traced namely in the context of Malaysia and its Indian diaspora. His novels The Return (1981), In a Far Country (1993) and Between Lives (2003), numerous volumes of short stories (e.g. Plot, the Aborting, Parablames and Other Stories, 1989; Haunting the Tiger: Contemporary Stories from Malaysia, 1996; Sensuous Horizons, 1996) as well as a range of plays (e.g. The Cord, 1983; The Sandpit: A Monologue, 1987) have given insights to the general Malaysian populace, the Malaysian Indian community itself and the global citizens about the local Indians different from their diasporic counterparts in varied parts of the world. As an attempt to study the Malaysian Indian diaspora through works of literature, in this paper I wish to
i) describe the portrayal of Malaysian Indians as presented in both novels;
ii) compare the two novels depiction of transformation (if any) as undergone by the Malaysian Indians; and
iii) examine the changes in the writer’s writing (thematic concerns, character portrayal, style etc.) through the two novels.
|Keywords:||Indian Diaspora, Transformation|
Lecturer, Centre for the Promotion of Knowledge and Language Learning, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
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