This study aims at foregrounding the element of place and the phenomenology of the reciprocal human-place relationship in K.S. Maniam novel Between Lives. The novel captures the essence of the central characters, whose development throughout the novel is not solely the consequence of human connection or interaction, but also subject to the structure of place that frames the setting of the novel. The novel simultaneously invokes a sense of place, and the powerful spirit emanating from it — calling for human beings to approach a given place with openness, which eventually draws them into a reconciliation with their ‘lost’ genuine self-identities. This paper seeks to bring forth the significance of place and its significance over the characters involved, and how a deep relationship with place is as necessary, and perhaps as unavoidable, as close relationships with people; without such relationships, human existence is bereft of much of its significance. Between Lives has a rich incorporation of place, and it also asserts an organic hybrid — that nature or place and human are intertwined and that memories, histories and the past are continuously relived to project a ‘sense of place’ and a ‘sense of belonging’.
|Keywords:||Literature of Place, Malaysian Literature|
Postgraduate Student Researcher, Department of English, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Senior Lecturer, Department of English, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
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