April 23, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Book Review: The Routledge Concise History of Southeast Asian Writing in English (Review by Zafar Anjum, S’pore)

1 min read
A useful companion for those who seek a handy understanding of Southeast Asian writing in English

RoutledgeThe Routledge Concise History of Southeast Asian Writing in English

By Rajeev S. Patke and Philip Holden

Routledge, 272 pp

It can be argued that Southeast Asian Writing in English has not achieved as much attention as African Writing in English or Indian Writing in English, even though English as a language reached most parts of the world wave after wave as a result of colonialism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Manila have been major outposts under British and American colonialism, but the output in English from these big Asian cities has not made much impact on the global literary landscape, the same way that writings from India or Africa have. Where is Southeast Asia’s answer to Midnight Children or a House for Mr. Biswas or Things Fall Apart?

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