"I also got the chance to see him up close. God! He was handsome! He looked like a street kid in school uniform but a bloody hot one."
Shehan has a crush on Robbie, his friend and classmate. Robbie is straight and finds Shehan's affections unsettling. But then, that is all Robbie has going for him in his turbulent life. And when they both realize it, it's already too late.
So muses Khalid Khan a seventeen year old Afghan boy living in Melbourne. Khalid is like any other boy of his age in Australia; he loves his Footy, his mum's cooking and takes every opportunity to tease his sister Aisha. He believes in Allah although he sometimes wonders whether it is such a good idea to convert everybody in the world to Islam.
The quiet suburban life of Khalid's family is turned upside down one Friday morning when they have an unwelcome visitor. What follows is a hilarious – and poignant – intercultural encounter in multicultural Australia.
'Channa has a wonderful ear for the patois of teenagers. He helped me to empathise with the lives of people, whose religion is intertwined with their culture, and he did it with humour and insight which, given the political tenor of the times we live in, cannot be a bad thing.' - Michael Cooke, Doryanthes
Wheeler dealer, blackmailer and black marketer, Sam Kandy is not a very nice person. But he is a hell of a guy. Beggar's Feast is a novel about a man who lives in defiance of fate. Sam Kandy was born in 1889 to low prospects in a Ceylon village and died one hundred years later as the wealthy headman of the same village, a self-made shipping magnate, and father of sixteen, three times married and twice widowed. In four parts, this enthralling novel tells Sam's story from his boyhood-when his parents, convinced by his horoscope that he would be a blight upon the family, abandon him at the gates of a distant temple-through his dramatic escape from the temple and journey across Ceylon to Australia and Singapore, before his bold return to the Ceylon village he once called home. There he tries to win recognition for his success in the world-at any cost.
A novel about family, pride, and ambition, about what it takes for one man to make something out of nothing, set on a gorgeous, troubled island caught between tradition and modernity, "Beggar's Feast" establishes Boyagoda as a major voice in international literature.
'Let us neither over nor under state the case – this is a beautifully written book. It reads like a hot curry balanced against a mango relish' – Hubert O Hearn, Winnipeg Review
'A post-colonial Gatsby Beggars Feast is a picaresque about the clash of the worlds and the revenge of empires, about fate and history and harbours and birthright and brothels and moneylenders and metal-benders' – Mark Jarman , The Globe and Mail
'Boyagoda's narrative voice... is as lush as the tropical landscape of Ceylon, this voice, with its endless sentences, its mad cataloguing of things – a style sinuous, declamatory, periphrastic, peppered with extravagant metaphors and odd phrases' - Philip Marchand, National Post
Longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC prize
Short-listed for the Gratiaen Prize in 2011
Mariam a girl of mixed blood is uprooted from Kandy and transplanted to Sydney to escape the escalating ethnic conflict in the late 1990s. Displaced and disoriented, she fights to find her voice in a society that shows little empathy towards the 'lost in translation'. Her dream is to be an artist but her parents want her to be a doctor. Traumatised by rejection and loneliness, she looks for answers in all the wrong places to find what she has forgotten. Join Mariam in her emotional journey through different cultures numbed by set standards, routine and materialism, as she relates her story of 'coming home' through letters, poetry and sketches to her own daughter Faith.
A very absorbing and touching ... read – Amalshan Gunarathne
A novel that attempts to unify what divides humans – Smriti Daniels
Writing with keen insight into the psyche of the displaced, Channa Wickremesekera, author of Distant Warriors and Walls, brings his characters into the close confines of a boat escaping a conflict zone. Will a series of unfortunate events precipitate disaster on them before nature unleashes a savage storm? Only time will tell as they race inexorably toward their destiny.
'A powerful and disturbing tale of our times in which the historical and the allegorical are combined with consummate skill. Channa Wickremesekera is among the most astute, inventive and courageous of Sri Lankan diasporic writers today' – Suvendrini Perera
'The novel can be read as a counter narrative of the colonial voyage... It is unromantic and unsentimental, even in some of its more tender moments, like that of the child seeking the whereabouts of the kitten she had brought on board or in the more horrifying ones , like the spraying of an 'insubordinate' passenger by the rebel leader, with bullets. A remarkable feature of its textuality is its refusal to produce a 'human' alternative to the political dilemma of nations and nationalities, borders and boundaries' – Sumathy Sivamohan
When Tristan Lorne accidentally summons the demon Appollyon to Earth, he becomes a game-changer in the eternal combat of good against evil. Now unleashed, Appollyon wreaks havoc and destruction under the guise of crime, natural disasters and wars. Those killed by him awaken to find themselves in Olympus, a realm of four islands, ruled by two mysterious elders, who ally with magical creatures and plot to defeat the demon. When a devastating confrontation brings Tristan here, little does he know that his journey of magic, mystery and self discovery is only about to begin. KNIGHTS OF OLYMPUS, the first of the Tristan's Conquest trilogy is a gripping tale that bridges worlds of ancient magic and prophecy, where some are destined by their choices to become either heroes or villains.
The first ever such, Fantasy-Adventure novel by a Sri Lankan Author. A remarkable debut!
Together, they are forced to test the limits of friendship, the bonds of marriage and the boundaries of love as they learn with each passing moment that not everything society teaches us is true. Their journey of love and hate begins with an unexpected kiss, leading them to an end that will define who they become.
One late spring morning, Uma awakens to a life in which her relationships – to lover, to husband, to son – seem unbearably tangled. In capturing its searing and intimate moments, the story transcends into a meditation on love and betrayal, grief and redemption.
'The heart-breaking clarity of Chandani Laokugé's writing resonates long after reading Softly, As I Leave You.'
'Chandani Lokugé writes with unfailing verbal felicity, in the language of the men and women of our time, over the whole range of human communication.'
Longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC award
Shortlisted for the Fairway Literary Prize
In a time of upheaval, can Nala keep her family together?
The capital city – a little boy watches a monk wrap himself in flames… A village in Jaffna – a little girl is bursting with life…
Nala and Ranjan are on the brink of an exciting future. They will meet, marry and fall in love. They will set up house and have children. They will map out their future together, but destiny has other plans for them. Will they survive?
The SONG OF THE SUN GOD is a deeply moving saga spanning three continents and three generations. Lush physical details and an emotional recounting of events as they relentlessly unfold, reveal a heart-wrenching story of family, love, laughter, sorrow and new beginnings.
Shortlisted for the Fairway Prize, 2018
As a child, Maya was forced to flee Sri Lanka following the anti-Tamil riots. As a fiercely independent young woman, she returns to explore the country of her birth, when she falls deeply, serendipitously in love with gentle, romantic Malik.
But tragedy strikes when her mother is killed by a terrorist bomb, setting into motion a life-changing chain of events.
From raves on moonlit beaches and secret drag balls on private islands, to encounters with deat squads in forests dense with unspeakable secrets.
'An ambitious novel of parallel worlds, where recent history makes for difficult choices.' - Romesh Gunasekera, Author Noontide Toll and Reef
'Lovingly chronicles both the beauty and tragedy of Sri Lanka... races to a conflagration of a conclusion.' - Nayomi Munaweera, Author Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Shortlisted for the Fairway Prize in 2017
Angela finds herself flying into the devastated region of Banda Aceh as a researcher for the UN. Enthusiastic and committed, the young American woman arrives at a place swarming with aid workers, and she soon enters a world that is nothing like what she has known.
From the author of Colours of the Sun (shortlisted for the Gratiaen Awards and State Literary Awards 2010), comes a brilliant distillation of day- to - day organizational issues addressed in a form of 'what', 'why' and 'how', that can help one to gain mastery over crisis and to triumph with greater character.
"One's character is generally challenged when disaster strikes and as the saying goes; it's not about how high one climbs but how he bounces back when he hits the bottom which defines the true measure of a man's success. This is the heart of the Crisis to Character Model suggested by the author." - Kushil Gunasekera, Founder, Foundation of Goodness, Sri Lanka
Answers to this question usually start in northern India, neglecting the dramatic events that marked Britain's contemporaneous taking of the island of Sri Lanka. In Islanded, Sujit Sivasundaram reconsiders the arrival of British rule in South Asia as a dynamic and unfinished process of territorialization and state building, revealing that the British colonial project was framed by Sri Lanka's traditions and maritime placement and built in part on the model they provided. Picking up a range of unusual themes, from migration, orientalism, and ethnography to botany, medicine, and education, Islanded is an engaging retelling of the advent of British rule and a theory of colonial impact that speaks to other places that have been lost from dominant histories.
'A wonderful read that calls into question many assumptions on the nature of colonial domination.' - Nira Wickramasinghe, Leiden Univesity
'Sujit Sivasundaram's Islanded is one of the most important historical studies on Sri Lanka in the early colonial period. It deals with the British advent to Sri Lanka in the context of the country's recent past and its strategic location in the Indian Ocean.' - Gananath Obeyesekere, Princeton University
SET is an indispensable tool for anyone wishing to gain a basic knowledge of simple colloquial Sinhala and/or Tamil. It is both an informative introduction to Sri Lanka's three languages, and an invaluable reference work for the elementary learner.
SET introduces a simple colloquial form of Sinhala and Tamil in a practical and user-friendly format. Sinhala and Tamil scripts are included, alongside a unique phonetic system designed to make the pronunciation of both languages as clear as possible. Supplementary notes provide further information on areas such as foods, festivals and family relationships. Usage notes explain grammar points such as noun endings, pronouns, forming questions and negatives, etc. And verb tables at the end of the book list the different forms of 100 common Sinhala and Tamil verbs.
Further information, together with sample pages from the book, can be found on the website www.mirisgala.net
'For those wanting to understand the origins of the disputes which have kept the island of Sri Lanka in turmoil for the past thirty-five years, Nira Wickramasinghe has written a packed and comprehensive account of the historical developments which have shaped the nation now known as Sri Lanka.'
'A neatly crafted, well documented historical narrative... A significant contribution to the discipline of history in Sri Lankan society.'
-Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
Sri Lanka in the Modern Age recounts the modern history of the island in an accessible yet unconventional manner. Where other histories have tended to focus on the state's failure to accommodate the needs and demands of the minority communities, Wickramasinghe places their claims alongside the political, social and economic demands of other communities, parties, associations and groups, tracing their lineages to the colonial period. This paperback edition carries the book into the present, covering the brutal end of Sri Lanka's civil war and the making of the oppressive stability that has arisen in its wake.