Retrieving Lost Histories: Spaces of Healing, Spaces of Liberation

  • Carol Leon, University of Malaya, Malaysia
  • Gladys Koh, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia

Abstract

A major theme in postcolonial fiction is the struggle to forget the traumas of colonisation and that is why issues related to memory and history frequently emerge in contemporary texts. Tan Twan Eng (1972-) is an acclaimed Malaysian author who deals with the theme of memory particularly with regard to the Chinese community in Malaya during the Japanese Occupation. Using ideas of space and spatiality, this study investigates the postcolonial reclamation of history and home through the medium of memory in The Gift of Rain (2008). In this context, the notion of space used by Tan includes the physical landscape and the psychological landscapes of memory and history. In The Gift of Rain, the memories of the characters are sometimes in conflict with official historical narratives. This article argues that the slipperiness between personal and public narrations of history opens up a space that allows for a renegotiation of identity and understanding of self.

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Author Biographies

Carol Leon, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Carol Leon is Associate Professor of English at the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. She is the author of Movement and Belonging: Lines, Places and Spaces of Travel (2009) and has presented papers and written articles on postcolonial literature and travel writings.
Gladys Koh, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia
Gladys Koh is Lecturer in English at the Department of Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman. She has presented and published papers on a diverse range of topics from postcolonial literature to semiotic studies.
Published
2014-12-15
How to Cite
Leon, University of Malaya, Malaysia, C., & Koh, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia, G. (2014). Retrieving Lost Histories: Spaces of Healing, Spaces of Liberation. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 8(2), 110-124. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/AJELL/article/view/491
Section
General Articles

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