Nayomi Munaweera was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in Nigeria. She emigrated to the United States in her early teens. She lives in Oakland, California. Island of a Thousand Mirrors is her first novel.
This is a beguiling tale of three women swept up in the turbulence of an island's history and whose fate is woven intricately together in war, migration, love, exile and belonging.
A few months after the 1983 riots, a Sinhalese family leaves Sri Lanka for America. The two children, Yasodhara and Lanka adapt to their new life quickly but memories of their childhood on a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean are seared into their souls. Meanwhile, Saraswathi lives in the middle of the war torn country struggling to be a teenager in a land that is anything but normal.
Covering three quarters of a century of Sri Lanka's past, this beautifully written novel combines harsh reality, love and tenderness with astonishing insight.
'Lyrical, heartfelt and awash with imagery: Island of a Thousand Mirrors expresses a deep love of the country and a lingering sadness at what Sri Lanka has done to itself' – Shehan Karunatilaka, author of Chinaman
'Nayomi Munaweera pulls you into this book's big-hearted embrace with fierce, poetic language and striking imagery. The three women at the core of the ambitious, globe-spanning story show us, heart-breakingly, that we are linked by more than nation, more than race, more, even than blood. A dark, beautiful transporting debut' – V. V. Ganeshananthan, author of Love Marriage
'In Island of a Thousand Mirrors, Nayomi Munaweera writes with ferocity, fire and poetry of the incomprehensible madness of civil war and its effects upon those caught within it, whether in the villages and cities of Sri Lanka, or half a world away. A masterful, incendiary debut' – Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander
Winner of the Commonwealth Prize