Exploring the diasporic Malaysian Indian’s national identity through multi-voiced storytelling in Muthammal Palanisamy’s, From Shore To Shore (2002)

Author:   Dr. Kavitha Ganesan
Publisher:   Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism
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This paper explores Muthammal Palanisamy’s life-writing From Shore to Shore by con-centrating on how the author, a postcolonial diasporic Malaysian Indian female, prob-lematises and legitimises the hybridity caused by migrant traversals, where life-writing and its textual devices disrupt normative constructs of national identity which are fixed within homelands. In doing so this paper textually appropriates the role of the migrant in the construction of a bottom-up national identity through migrant Indian indentured labour identities. The analysis will look at how the appropriation of multi-voiced stories involve cultural and historical discontinuities between the narrator, a diasporic Malay-sian Indian, and her father, a migrant, which, in turn, enables the narrativisation of a national identity for the narrator.
Keywords: : Postcolonial diasporic Malaysian Indian, multi-voiced storytelling, textual appropriation, hybridity
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