This paper aims to present the linguistic heterogeneity of the Malaysian Indian community that is often thought to be homogenously “Indian” through a comparison of the socio-linguistic signifiers in four English-language Malaysian novels. The variety of real-life speech patterns and code variations in K. S. Maniam’s The Return, Rani Manicka’s The Rice Mother, Preeta Samarasan’s Evening Is the Whole Day, and Sunil Nair’s When All the Lights Are Stripped Away reveal the linguistic heterogeneity of the Malaysian Indian creative imagination. Nuanced differences in speech patterns and codes from novel to novel counterbalance stereotypical representations of the Malaysian Indian community.
Perspectives in the Arts and Humanities Asia is a peer-reviewed journal published twice a year by the School of Humanities of the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. Multidisciplinary in scope, it welcomes articles in English or Filipino in the following fields: literature, philosophy, theology, performance arts, visual arts, forms of media and other related areas, especially studies engaging Philippine and Asian experience.