The sea that lay between Pa Singaram and literary world’s indifference

Pa Singaram, Tamil novels, Tamil literature
Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, Pa Singaram’s novels are some of the earliest known literature on Tamil migrants and seafarers | Illustration - Immayabharathi K

The world of Tamil literature is not limited to the boundaries of Tamil Nadu alone. It stretches across nations such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.

Often, the literature created outside of Tamil Nadu or India is termed as ‘migrant literature’. But there is a difference.

Both Malaysia and Singapore, which have a large Tamil population comprising people who went from pre-Independent India as British slaves to work in rubber estates or to find a suitable work, have their own Tamil literature. The Tamils there write and publish their work and those works mostly do not travel outside those countries.

In contrast, Tamilians who migrated from Sri Lanka due to the civil war are mostly spread over in Western countries such as France, Canada, Norway, etc. Their works, however, were published and discussed in Tamil Nadu.

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