SARE: Southeast Asian Review of English is an international peer-reviewed journal founded in 1980. It publishes scholarly articles, interviews, reviews, and other valuable and lively interventions.

Serving solely as an open access electronic journal from 2016, SARE aims to be a key critical forum for original research and fresh conversations from all over the world on the literatures, languages, and cultures of Southeast, South, and East Asia. It particularly welcomes theoretically-informed articles on the literary and other cultural productions of these regions.

SARE has been committed from its inception to featuring new or unpublished poems and short fiction.  





Vol. 56, No. 2, December 2019
Guest Editor:  Wernmei Yong Ade

One can think of only a few works of literature that do not tell a “love story” or two.  Perhaps the most explored theme in literature, love has, however, only enjoyed a marginal status in critical literary scholarship.  The reluctance to take love seriously might be attributed to the fact that love is itself a subjective experience, one that at best offers, as Jean-Luc Marion informs us, “a non-interpretation”.  Thanks, however, in part to the philosophical writings of Levinas, Irigaray, Barthes, Kristeva, and Badiou, who have not only “praised” love (in reference to the title of Badiou’s book In Praise of Love) but insisted on its continued relevance towards ethics and politics, love is now seen as an important topic, one that is to be approached on its own terms in multiple fields of study, including the literary.  

Echoing Arthur Rimbaud, who in 1873 had insisted that love needed reinventing, the feminist poet and essayist Adrienne Rich wrote a hundred years later in 1972, that love remains in need of “re-vision”, referring to the act of looking back with renewed critical vision.   This special issue on love is inspired not only by the resurgence of love as a fertile field of study within the humanities, but is also driven by the conviction that love, in our age of advanced capitalism, globalisation, mobility and technology, is, more than ever, in need of re-vision.  

As one of the fastest growing regions in economic, political, and cultural terms, Southeast Asia, together with South and East Asia, are uniquely poised to contribute towards re-visioning love. What can the writings of these regions tell us about loving in an age such as ours  –  one of change, transience, and mobility? How is love experienced between individuals whose subjectivities are increasingly fragmented, non-unitary, multi-layered, and complex?  What can it mean to love, at a time when love is often experienced in between locations, or as Rosi Braidotti confesses “in translation”? What material and cultural factors condition our experiences, expressions, and representations of love? If love, as Barthes tells us, is nothing other than the discourse that constitutes it, then what does it mean to love between and across ideologies, cultures, traditions, and identities – gendered, sexual, racial, national, or otherwise?  What can the rhetorical tradition of love, as revealed in the regions’ literary and other cultural productions, tell us about the way we have loved and continue to love? How do the “love stories” embedded within the literatures and cultures of these regions open up spaces for ideological debate?

This issue welcomes proposals that explore the myriad experiences of love in Southeast, South, and East Asia, including diasporic sites of literary and cultural production,  which are related but not limited to the following:

- Love in/ of literature, film, television, art and other cultural productions
- Love and mobility
- Love and capitalism and/ or globalisation
- Love and ethics
- Love stories/ narratives of love  
- Love and textuality/ the lover’s discourse
- Love in popular culture/ media
- Love and gender
- Love and sexuality  
- Love and the environment
- Cross-species experiences of love
- Love and borders (textual and geographical/ geopolitical)

Abstracts (250 words) with a short bio (max 70 words) are to be sent to The Editor at (with a copy to the Guest Editor at by 15 April 2019.  

Decision notifications will be sent by 15 May 2019.

The deadline for the submission of full papers (5000-7000 words) is 31 August 2019. All papers should be in English and uploaded to the SARE website through the "Make a Submission" portal at  

Further submission guidelines can be found on our website.

If you have any questions related to the special issue, please direct your inquiries to 

About our Guest Editor:

Dr Wernmei Yong ADE is Assistant Professor and Deputy Head of the English programme at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where she lectures and researches in the areas of feminist studies, contemporary women's writing, critical theory, and love. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her main research addresses the ideological and ethical dimensions of love, and their representations in literature, philosophy, and film. In recent years, this research has converged with her long-standing interest in women’s issues and feminism.  Most recently, she co-edited the volume Contemporary Arts as Political Practice in Singapore (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and has forthcoming a co-edited collection, Fluid Gender, Fluid Love (Brill, 2019).  She is a member of the steering committee for the International Society for the Study of Gender and Love, and has published several articles on love including “Mourning Diary: Love’s Work” (Textual Practice, 2015) and “The Sacred: Of Violence, Intimacy and Love” (Philosophy Today, 2012).  Her book chapter, “Becoming-Woman in Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve”, which examines intersections between love and nomadism, is currently under review by Brill.  In 2018, she was commissioned to write an essay for Oh Soon-Hwa’s Quiet Dream, a photoessay series on the subject of Vietnamese migrant brides, which will be sold through the Asian Art Museum in Nice.  




(Image Credit: Desenio) 



Editorial:  "Sites of Possibility"

Sharmani Patricia Gabriel




Introduction: The Particular and the Universal

Bernard Wilson

University of the Sacred Heart, Japan


Agency, Adaptation, and Audience: Re-visioning the Legend of Mahsuri in Selected Contemporary Malaysian Young Adult Fiction

Sharifah Aishah Osman

Universiti Malaya, Malaysia


Representing Gender in Chinese Children’s Literature (1920-2010)

Lijun Bi 

Monash University, Australia 

Xiangshu Fang

Deakin University, Australia 


"Let them see your face, my child, and thus know the meaning of all things": Unity, the Child, and the Natural World in Rabindranath Tagore’s The Crescent Moon

Alicia Alves

Queen's University, Canada  


Teen Victimisation, Survival, and the Formation of Identity in Paro Anand’s The Other: Stories of Difference

Venkatesh Puttaiah

University of Mysore, India


Mapping Contemporary South Asian Children’s Fiction: Contentions and Contestations in Mitali Perkins’ You Bring the Distant Near and Sowmya Rajendran’s The Lesson

Abishek Ghosal

University of Burdwan, India


"Herstory" in Twenty-First Century Indian English Children’s Literature: Subverting Gender Binaries in Mayil Will Not Be Quiet! and Queen of Ice

Anurima Chanda

Ashoka University, India


"Casualties of War": The Japanese Occupation of Korea and Its Impact on Mothers and Daughters in Yoko Kawashima Watkins’ So Far from the Bamboo Grove and Sook Nyul Choi’s Year of Impossible Goodbyes

Gabrielle Atwood Halko

West Chester University, USA


The Highlighted Life: The Humanistic Orientation of War Narration in Chinese Children’s Films of the New Period

Fengxia Tan

Nanjing Normal University, China

Lu Li

Foshan University, China


The Case of "Missing Parent(s)": Children’s Literature in Indian Writing in English

Raj Gaurav Verma

University of Lucknow, India


"A Girl Worth Fighting For" : Transculturation, Remediation, and Cultural Authenticity in Adaptations of the "Ballad of Mulan"

Joseph V. Giunta

Independent Scholar, USA


"Rude Tribes and Wild Frontiers": Treatment of Ethnicity in Chinese Children’s Literature

Xiangshu Fang

Deakin University, Australia 

Lijun Bi 

Monash University, Australia 


A Theoretical Conception of the Value System of Criticism in Chinese Children’s Literature

Lifang Li

Lanzhou University, China


Exploring the Trajectories of Myth, Truth, and Childhood in Mahasweta Devi’s The Armenian Champa Tree

Jabeen Fatima

Independent Scholar,  India



An Interview with Emila Yusof

Su Mei Kok 

Universiti Malaya, Malaysia


Book Reviews


Hans Volker Wolf, Looi Wan Ling, Stefanie Pillai, and Adriana Phillip, The Mousedeer and the Crocodiles

Amin Amirdabbaghian and Hans V. Wolf

Universiti Malaya, Malaysia





Decolonizing the Malaysian Mind: Celebrating the Pioneering Achievement of Lloyd Fernando's Cultural Politics

Shirley Geok-lin Lim

University of California-Santa Barbara, USA


Travel, Coal, and Empire: Delineations of Formosa in Nineteenth-Century English Travelers' Coal Texts

Li-Ru Lu

National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan



Alas, Sir Vidia: V.S. Naipaul, 1932-2018 

John Thieme

University of East Anglia, UK


Poetry & Fiction


At Chairil's Grave

Leonard Jeyam

Universiti Malaya, Malaysia 


The Leg

Anthony Cummins

Perdana University-Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Malaysia


Medusa Love

Saba Mahmood Bashir

Jamia Millia Islamia University, India 


Leave of the Mind

Two Heartbeats Away 

K.S. Maniam


Book Reviews


M. Shanmughalingam, Marriage and Mutton Curry

Susan Philip

Universiti Malaya, Malaysia


Elizabeth Jackson,  Muslim Indian Women Writing in English: Class Privilege, Gender Disadvantage, Minority Status

Indrani Karmakar

University of York, UK


Notes on Contributors






(Image Credit:

Published: 2018-12-16

Editorial: “Sites of Possibility”

Sharmani Patricia Gabriel


At Chairil’s Grave

Leonard Jeyam


The Leg

Anthony Cummins


Medusa Love

Saba Mahmood Bashir





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ISSN 0127-046X | Affiliated with the Council of Editors of Learned Journals

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