Deep into Sonali Deraniyagala’s Wave, she describes herself as a “shocking story, a wild statistical outlier.” A chatty woman on a plane tries to draw her out: Is she married? Does she have children? She cannot answer these questions. In 2004, she was holidaying with her family on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka when the Indian Ocean tsunami came ashore. Her husband, her two sons and her parents all died in the wave. At the end of Moby-Dick, the narrator explains in a brief epilogue how he alone came to be rescued from the water, to recount his ship’s fateful voyage. It is as though even a tale of epic proportion cannot contain that last part of the story. Sonali Deraniyagala’s book is all epilogue. It is a meditation through grief and a meditation on grief. It is courageous, truthful and, above all, generous. In the first place, it dares to tell an impossibly difficult story.
more from Sunila Galappatti at The Globe and Mail here.