Evening Is the Whole Day Paperback – 28 May 2009
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‘I found it a good, strong, spirit-spiked story about caste and unfairness, as furious, controlled, cool and urgent as Aravind Adiga’s White Tiger and an introduction to a writer whose talent with narrative structure combines elegance and potency.’ Ali Smith, TLS (Book of the Year)
Anne Tyler, Guardian (Book of the Year)
‘Samarasan captures beautifully the conflict both within the family and the country during the early years of Malaysia's independence. Vibrant, descriptive, and peppered with colourful Indian-Malaysian dialogue, this is an epic that's informative without being worthy, and engrossing but not frivolous.’ Francesca Segal, Observer
‘You won't find India's heat and dust here; you will sense the moist warmth of South-east Asia. Samarasan represents the quiet emergence of new Malaysian writing in books such as Rani Manicka's The Rice Mother and Touching Earth, Tash Aw's The Harmony Silk Factory, and Tan Twan Eng's Booker-longlisted The Gift of Rain last year. These writers have significantly broadened our understanding of the region.’ Salil Tripathi, Independent
‘A richly complex debut, weaving the troubled Malaysia of the 1980s with a dark, delicious Dickensian family drama.’ Waterstones Books Quarterly
‘A magical, exuberant tragic-comic vision of post-colonial Malaysia reminiscent of Rushdie and Roy. In prose of acrobatic grace, Samarasan conjures a vibrant portrait, by turns intimate and sweeping, of characters and a country coming of age. The debut of a significant, and thrilling new talent.’ Peter Ho Davies
‘An accomplished and magical debut.’ New Books Magazine
‘Preeta Samarasan details the colourful and secretive lives of the Rajeskhrans, a wealthy Indian immigrant family. She keeps us guessing as the secrets that led to the family’s relocation are slowly revealed.’ Image Magazine
About the Author
Preeta Samarasan was born and raised in Malaysia and moved to the United States for her high school education. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where an early version of this novel won the Hopwood Novel Award. She recently won the Asian American Writer’s Workshop short-story award. She lives in France.
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Top customer reviews
The time line could be annoying for some, and I admit did take some getting used to, but it actually works quite well when you begin to realise what is happening, and I personally feel that this worked better than presenting the chapters in chronological sequence. It helps to build the characters slowly and give a sense of perspective, to see why they behave as they do and what drives and motivates them.
I suppose for me, it was the human interest element that really shone through - the hypocrisy and double standards of the father as opposed to the common sense kindness of his brother, the black sheep, and how the relationships between the different characters developed. It says a lot about the frailties of human relationships and perhaps the characters egos too, highlighting not only the tensions in Malaysian society in general, but also within the family itself, and tbeir treatment of the more vulnerable members. It is in some ways quite a dark book, where the various members fail to take responsbility for their actions anc choices. Despite this, one is still left with a sense of hope, hope that the characters (the younger ones at least) will wake up and understand that they can change their fate, and choose a different path. If ever there was a follow up to this book, it would be interesting to see if that happened.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading especially Malaysians like me.
I give it a five star rating because of the style in which it is written.
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