This Special Issue casts a critical eye on new directions in Malaysian literature in English (MLE), exploring selected local and diasporic or transnational writings by established and new writers in the millennium, and how they can potentially help us rethink and resituate postcolonial studies on Malaysia. Studies on MLE have flourished since the publication 20 years ago of the seminal volume of critical essays Malaysian Literature in English: A Critical Reader (Quayum and Wicks 2001), which helped lay the foundations of the field itself. Given Malaysia’s history as a former British colony, it is not surprising to find that MLE scholarship has been dominated by postcolonial approaches to the analysis of local literary life and journey, which are entwined with the country’s search for identity in the postcolonial, globalizing age. Since its humble beginnings in university productions of the late 1940s, MLE has been influenced and affected by the pivotal developments of decolonization, independence, nation-building, and globalization. History and the way it shapes the present have thus remained powerful concerns in the study of identity and literary expression in MLE, as it involves the pressing question of what it means to be “Malaysian” – not by any means an easy question to answer.
- Malaysian Anglophone literature
- new writers
- Cyber punk