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Authored by: Nissanka Wijemanne

The Routledge Companion to Sinhala Fiction from Post-War Sri Lanka

Print publication date:  September  2022
Online publication date:  September  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367554682
eBook ISBN: 9781003094708
Adobe ISBN:


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This novel follows a young teacher’s journey to a predominantly Muslim village to teach, while the greater journey meanwhile is for him to find himself, as he does not know his origin, having been found by a Sinhala teacher who brings him up. In the village, he is boarded with a Muslim man named Jelabdeen, who knows a girl called Ayesha, a student of the school he is teaching in at present. The novel ends with the young teacher in a coma, having being caught in an interracial riot , but also close to having realized who he is. Apart from dealing with what happens when a Sinhala man and a Muslim woman fall in love , this novel also deals with the concept of history , the need for old stories for us to have a better understanding of ourselves. In this excerpt, a Muslim teacher says that there is no history of the Muslims given in any detail in Sri Lankan history books. It’s also about how easily riots can start – childish mischief is sometimes enough. Right throughout the book though, runs, along with the theme of violence and cruelty, that of love, and the desperation of those who need to find ways of being together, which, in Sri Lankan culture, means approval for interethnic marriages .

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