The Heart That Bears

Authored by: Kathyana Amarasinghe

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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In this excerpt taken from the novel Dharani 1 (The Earth/Something that bears up), the condition of Jaffna and its people after the three decades of war had practically destroyed it, is given representation. Problems less visible (than those of the camp-constrained life, for example) like the heartbreak of the Sri Lankan Tamils is given voice by the man who is now a refugee – having left Sri Lanka to save his life, drifting about rootless and lonely , wishing for a home that does not exist anymore. This is a novel in which the narrator is a young Sinhala woman given to daydreaming and fantasy who finally believes she is communicating with the probably-dead Tamil LTTE female cadre who had been the lover of the Tamil man she has now fallen in love with. The section translated here comes before her descent into partial “madness”. This excerpt also succeeds in drawing parallels between the Sinhala Marxist insurgency –which the first part deals with – and the Tamil militants, both groups having lost lives that pitted themselves against the state military forces.

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