The focal point of this paper is the concept of transnational memory and the blurred and fluctuating boundaries of ties with the nation that was once home as depicted in Evening is the Whole Day, a novel by Preeta Samarasan, part of the emergent community of new Malaysian diasporic writers. New Malaysian diasporic writers in the context of this paper are taken to refer to writers who were born in Malaysia but are now settled elsewhere in the globe, and yet are recognizably transnational in that their writings focus on the older country and memories of family, community, and a nation that once was. The discussion expands existing scholarship on diasporic memory such as Rushdie’s argument of the broken mirrored refractions by introducing the concept of another cartography of memory, that of appendages of Other memories such as fleeting images from the repertoire of literary (and historical) archives, textual tradition, and its influence on diasporic creative writing. This is framed against Arjun Appadurai’s notion of the “synchronic warehouse,” a term he has used to refer to the “politics of memory” that reside within the concept of “the past” that no longer reflects a simple return but a space which allows for the recasting, redirecting, and editing of memories. Seen in this light, the paper concludes that the novel becomes the synchronic warehouse that projects a multiple imagined perspective of the nation, reimagined in a multitude of scenes that ultimately appear distinctly anomalous.


hybridity, imaginary homelands, motherland, transnational memory

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

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Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
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Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
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Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
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University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
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Inderpal Grewal
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Peter Horn
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Anette Horn
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University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
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University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
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Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
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Temario Rivera
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Department of Political Science
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Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
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Barnard College (US)
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Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)