Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/23367
Title: 
Authors: 
Subjects: 
Tash Aw
Malaysian literature
Postcolonial literature
Inequality
Migrancy
Universalism
Issue Date: 
2021
Citation: 
Poon, A. (2021). Universalism and the Malaysian Anglophone novel: Exploring inequality, migrancy, and class in Tash Aw's We, the Survivors. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/17449855.2021.1975405
Journal: 
Journal of Postcolonial Writing
Abstract: 
Tash Aw’s 2019 novel We, the Survivors narrates the story of a convicted killer, Ah Hock, whose life serves as a lens to refract contemporary Malaysia’s postcolonial history and its ethnic and class politics, as well as its location within the circuitry of global capitalism. This article examines Aw’s representation of migrancy, class, and inequality in contemporary Malaysian society, reading the text as a critique of global capitalism through its tactical employment of a universalist idiom that appropriates Darwinian ideas about survival, evolution, chance, environment, and competition. The text also reflects on the ethics of novel-writing since Ah Hock’s oral testimony is ostensibly mediated by a more privileged character. Aw locates his novel in the pivotal space between national specificity and general universalism while asking critical questions of his own position within the transnational literary marketplace, thereby underscoring the urgent need to re-world the world created by global capitalism.
URI: 
ISSN: 
1744-9855 (print)
1744-9863 (online)
DOI: 
File Permission: 
Embargo_20230401
File Availability: 
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Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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  Until 2023-04-01
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