In This Chapter

Only a Name

Authored by: Kumari Kumaragamage

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 is the story that a Tamil girl tells the writer, Kumari Kumaragamage, who does not consider herself a creative writer and considers her writing the documentation of her experiences while working in war affected areas . While the story of the girl’s mother brings out a picture of a strong Tamil woman , and in her singular plight, we also glimpse the common plight of women who lose their identity – here symbolized by the names she is given – and who gets known only in relation to others and the changing context of her life. Yet her plight as a Tamil woman is brought to the fore – the death of her children, the lack of hope they have for a good life here. Yet the underlying emotion is that of hope, search for love, and the indomitable nature of the human spirit. There is also quick mention about the problem of Tamil men too – the age old one of needing to find dowries to get their sisters or their daughters married off within the Tamil community , the sheer exhaustion and difficulty of it driving them towards alcoholism , and the more recent ones of having suspicion cast on them constantly, as being terrorists .

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