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Ways of remembering to write home

Lazaroo, S.ORCID: 0000-0001-9859-9119 (2020) Ways of remembering to write home. Journal of Literary Studies, 36 (1). pp. 92-111.

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This article draws on my own and some of my family’s search for home and belonging, exploring links between these experiences and the development of characters in my novels and short stories, mostly as migrants seeking meaning and identity at the intersection of cultures. I draw on my own cultural background of migration from Singapore to Australia with my Anglo-Australian mother and with my Eurasian father, whose lineage includes family from Malacca and Singapore descended from 16th century Portuguese seafarers’ partnerships with Malay women. I will occasionally refer to aspects of the “Kristang” culture, the name for Eurasians descended from those partner-ships; and to my father and his siblings’ and parents’ lives in Singapore during British colonial occupation and since.

I refer to family photographs and anecdotes, historical documents and excerpts from my creative writing to draw parallels between the “real” and the “re-imagined” contexts, including the influence of the British Empire and the White Australia Policy as they affect two generations of a family’s capacity to feel “at home”. I use Marianne Hirsch’s concept of “postmemory” to help explicate how familial anecdotes and photographs inform some of my writing. Brief extracts from my published and current work-inprogress suggest further issues about home and belonging arising from migration.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Creative Media, Arts and Design
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
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