Nanthanoot Udomlamun (PhD) is a Lecturer in literature and literary theory at the Department of Literature, Faculty of Humanities, Kasetsart University. Her extensive body of work encompasses research articles exploring themes such as diaspora, migration, and critical analyses of colonialism, neoliberalism, and global capitalism. Her research interests lie in postcolonial theory, decoloniality, and environmental and planetary humanities. Her current projects include “Planetary Memory in 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami Literary Writings” and “Land, Capital, and Crisis in Contemporary Malaysian Literature.” E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Unraveling More-than-human Entanglements and Rethinking Planetary Resilience: A Material Ecocritical Reading of Tash Aw’s We, the Survivors
Abstract: Tash Aw’s 2019 novel We, the Survivors is set in modern-day Malaysia and tells the story of survivors. The narrative follows Ah Hock, the protagonist, as he negotiates the challenges of his life in a society that is undergoing rapid change. The novel examines issues of social injustice, class imbalance, and the search for one’s identity in a changing country. When exploring Aw’s novel from a posthumanist perspective, it is evident that the novel portrays not only the plight of the human characters in the rapidly changing neoliberal world but also that of their nonhuman counterparts. Aw’s novel can be read as “climate fiction” in the Capitalocene. This paper is an analysis and discussion of the more-than-human entanglements and planetary resilience portrayed in Aw’s novel. The paper proposes a critical and ethical reading of the novel through the lens of material ecocriticism to unravel the more-than-human entanglements in contemporary coastal and urban spaces and to rethink planetary resilience, which may have already/always been part of us, human and nonhuman alike, and of our survival.
Keywords: planetary, more-than-human, resilience, material ecocriticism, Tash Aw