Andrew Fidel Fernando is a Colombo-based writer and satirist, working mainly for ESPNcricinfo. He travels, eats, cooks, scuba dives, regularly bungles all of the above, and relishes collecting stories that grapple with history and lay bare the soul of a place, particularly in his native Sri Lanka. Upon A Sleepless Isle is his first book
Dense green forests in Yala, white-sand coasts in Trincomalee, azure waters off the south coast, Anuradhapura's ancient temples, and cricket.
Civil war, political assassinations, internally displaced communities, industrial-scale corruption.
All are Sri Lanka. As are smug bureaucrats, nosy neighbours. and stray dogs with serious axes to grind.
Through the eyes of Andrew Fidel Fernando, cricket writer par excellence, both a local and a tourist in his home country, Sri Lanka comes to life as he hurtles down hills in Kandy, breathes in the history at the rock fortress of Sigiriya, grapples with the aftermath of war in Jaffna, and has himself evicted from restaurants near Galle. Weaving through all manner of villages, paddy fields, mountains, jungles and marshlands, and pausing for the pests at grimy guesthouses and the vacationers of luxury hotels, Fernando has the time for every genre of person and wildlife in this chaotic, exquisite, frustrating, bewitching, tumultuous and intoxicating land.
Hilariously witty, yet wistfully sombre, Upon A Sleepless Isle is the story of a country and a people caught between long historical traditions and global capitalism, resulting in this ingenious paradise.
"A hilarious, nuanced and elegant work that grapples with Sri Lanka's complexities, and celebrates its beauty" - Shehan Karunatilaka
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