The Death of the Magistrate's Wife

Authored by: Piyal Kariyawasam

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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Piyal Kariyawasan wrote just one novel after 2009, Veeduru kudu kavunu kalaka 2 (When Powdered Glass Is Swallowed) dealing with the disillusionment and gradual unravelling of a Sinhala magistrate who had had to officiate at the hearing of the 1983 prison massacre . The novel is mainly about what is allowed to be known and spoken about during times of war. This excerpt is from the first and fifth chapters of the novel, dealing with how he handles the death of his wife from whom he had kept an increasing distance, showing how a sensitive man is driven into isolation because of the nature of his job and also his sense of what life has become for those in rural villages, where there seems to be no way out of a cycle of poverty and despair , now compounded by the war. This novel, with an anti-linear narrative and a touch of surrealism, shows up with the complicity of law itself, with those that thwart the attempt to see justice done in post-war Sri Lanka.

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