A Brave Debut Novel About the Sri Lankan Civil War

Ru Freeman in the New York Times:

ScreenHunter_2286 Oct. 11 19.18War is a constant wellspring of literature, and the best of it looks not for the obvious and sensationally violent, but instead searches for the subtle ways that life unfolds regardless. While Sri Lankans writing in Sinhala and Tamil have long borne nuanced witness to the country’s three decades of civil war, writing in English has been much slower to respond. And too much of it has taken the easy route, giving a foreign readership what it desires: a voyeuristic, and ultimately unengaged, affirmation of what it believes is true of savage peoples in other countries.

Anuk Arudpragasam’s brave debut takes the higher road. In language that is often poetic, he describes a single day and night in the life of a refugee fleeing both the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelem and government forces.

More here.