Evening Is the Whole Day

Front Cover
HarperCollins Publishers, Mar 6, 2009 - Fiction - 352 pages
4 Reviews

‘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

Set in Malaysia, this spellbinding, exuberant first novel introduces us to a prosperous Indian immigrant family, as it slowly peels away its closely guarded secrets.

When the family's servant girl, Chellam, is dismissed from the big house for unnamed crimes, it is only the latest in a series of losses that have shaken six-year-old Aasha's life. Her grandmother has passed away under mysterious circumstances and her older sister has disappeared for a new life abroad, with no plans to return. Her parents, meanwhile, seem to be hiding something away - from themselves, and from one another.

As the novel tells us the story of the years leading up to these events, we learn what has happened to the hopes and dreams of a family caught up in Malaysia's troubled post-colonial history. What bought the Rajasekharan family to the Big House in Malaysia? What was Chellam's unforgivable crime? Why did the eldest daughter leave the country under strained circumstances? What is Appa - the respectable family patriarch - hiding from his wife and his children?

Through this vibrant cast of characters, and through a masterful evocation of the clashes and strains in a country where Malays, Indians and Chinese inhabitants vie for their positions in society, Preeta Samarasan brings us an enthralling saga of one household and the world beyond it.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dchaikin - LibraryThing

60. Evening Is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan (2008, 340 page Hardcover, read September 28 - October 18) This one just didn't work me. Actually, I'm not sure Indian novels, in general, works for me ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AMQS - LibraryThing

In 1980 in Ipoh, Malaysia, a few jarring events sweep over 6-year old Aasha: the dismissal of an 18 year-old servant in shame and disgrace, the departure of the oldest sister to university in America ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

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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