Review of Marriage and Mutton Curry by M. Shanmughalingam

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Marriage and Mutton Curry is a collection of fifteen stories, but it’s more than that.
Like R.K. Narayan’s Malgudi books and V.S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street , it’s a portrait
of a community – in this case the Sri Lankan Tamil community in Malaya from the time of the Japanese occupation in World War Two to Merdeka – independence – in the late 1950s. Characters and themes cross the borders of these stories – a minor character in one story becomes the main character of another. However, taking warning from the riotously hilarious “Naming
Names,” it is probably not always safe to assume that Mrs Kandiah in one story is necessarily the same as Mrs Kandiah in another, just because they share a name. “The proliferation of Kandiahs, Kandayahs, Kandasamys, Kanagalingams, Kanagaratnams, Kanagasabais, Kanagupeiars and many other names was to become the source of much creative activity within the Malayan Jaffna Tamil community” (80), as our narrator gleefully relates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-209
Number of pages4
JournalAsiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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