Reading Diaspora: The Architectonic Spaces in Preeta Samarasan’s <i>Evening is the Whole Day<i/>


  • Carol Leon



 Many Malaysian writers have delved into the subjects of race, identity and nationhood, given the postcolonial and multicultural contexts of the country. One relatively new writer who has added her voice to the narrative of the Indian diasporic community in Malaysia is Preeta Samarasan. Evening is the Whole Day (2008) is a riveting text by a diasporic author writing about the diasporic Indians living in Malaysia. Naturally themes of home and homeland are dominant in the text. Indeed, the house occupied by the rich, middle-class family in the narrative, called the Big House, becomes a reflection of the many issues faced by Indians living in a country rife with racial politics. More than just reflecting this family’s desire to belong, in Evening is the Whole Day, the house becomes a space wherein the personal and the public coincide. Within this space too, differing realities exist between the poor and the rich. It is this diverse economic standings which create varying realities for both groups of people.

This paper then will explore the architectonic spaces in Evening is the Whole Day with the aim of highlighting some of the pressing issues faced by the Indians in Malaysia. The motif of the house and, by extension, the notion of home, is evoked as a theoretical concept to image and analyse some of these issues.


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Author Biography

Carol Leon

 Carol Leon is Associate Professor of English at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her areas of research relate to postcolonialism and travel literature. Her book on travel theory, Movement and Belonging, was published by Routledge (New York) in 2009. She has publications, both journal articles and book chapters, in her areas of specialisation and has presented papers at national and international conferences. Email:  




How to Cite

Leon, C. (2017). Reading Diaspora: The Architectonic Spaces in Preeta Samarasan’s &lt;i&gt;Evening is the Whole Day&lt;i/&gt;. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 11(1).



Section II: Articles and Interviews on South Asian Diaspora Literature