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Jardines de Canela

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  797 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Construido sobre una antigua plantacion de canelos, Jardines de Canela es un barrio residencial de Colombo, capital de Sri Lanka, rebautizado como Ceilan por sus amos coloniales.Corre el ano 1927 cuando la independencia y el sufragio universal remueven las apacibles aguas del milenario pais, donde las mujeres se limitan al silencioso cumplimiento de los deberes en el hogar ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 28th 2002 by Salamandra (first published September 30th 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,859)
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Tea Jovanović
Jeste da se malo slomi jezik dok se izgovori ime autora pravilno (Šajem Selvadurai), ali je ovaj kanadski autor zaista vredan pažnja... Kod ans ga je objavila Laguna u sjajnom prevodu Jelene Stakić... Cejlon pre 100 godina... Egzotika...
Erastes
I found this a fascinating read, partly because I had only just finished “Burmese Days” by George Orwell and the parallels are easy to see, even though it was obvious that they come from completely different directions. Both books deal with the English Raj – one in Burma, one in Ceylon – but one is written from the point of view of the priviledged and ruling whites, whilst Cinnamon Gardens is written from the point of the view of the privileged native population of Ceylon.

I knew next to nothing
...more
Michael Armijo
Purely Excellent for all one may learn & retain...

This novel did overly use one of my all-time favorite words: VERANDAH. However, it's still worth taking the time to get lost in the authors' world. It took me to a new culture and another part of a dramatic world. It's interesting how a world apart is really so much the same in any world. There were two story lines about an uncle & his niece that merged into one as if a masterpiece. Each chapter began with a profound verse from the Tirukk
...more
Neha
Shyam Selvadurai does for Sri Lanka what Vikram Seth does for India. He weaves in the social, political, cultural and historical events of an era into a family drama and presents to you the story of people and a country. The book entwines many strong plots to make a well-structured and well written story - the marriage and search for suitable grooms, politics of the British on acknowledgement of universal franchise, freedom of Sri Lanka, ending era of rich landlords and emerging labour rights, c ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Sri Lanka in the 1920s was a British colony called Ceylon. Already divided along caste and ethnic lines, the British encouraged the divide, raising up some natives to rule, in small ways, over others. Annalukshmi Kandiah is the eldest daughter of Louisa, who came from one of the oldest Christian Tamil families but who eloped with Murugasu, a man who "had gained notoriety in his village of Jaffna for beheading the Gods in the household shrine during a quarrel with his father, running away to Mala ...more
Baklavahalva
Ok, so Selvadurai ain't Vikram Seth. And he's hitting you over the head with how Victorian the book he's writing is, even though it's set in 1920's Ceylon. And he's trying very hard to show you he knows and cares about women's, minorities', gay, and labor rights (thankfully, he missed animal rights). And he can't write a sex scene to save his life; "arousal" as a euphemism is no better than "quivering manhood," etc. But for all its frothiness, the book was extremely enjoyable because Selvadurai ...more
Mchaica
Eis aqui uma obra que me encantou e cuja existência, até do autor, era para mim totalmente desconhecida.

De uma sensibilidade marcante, Selvadurai oferece-nos um livro magnífico que nos emociona, que nos envolve numa teia de sentimentos arrebatadores e que, por fim, nos permite ver que a vida nem sempre é o que queremos que seja, ou, se quiserem, que a vida dá voltas e voltas levando-nos por caminhos que nem sempre são aquilo que desejamos.

A escrita de Shyam é poderosa, cativante, poética.

É dos t
...more
Sandhya
Aug 08, 2007 Sandhya rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Funny Boy, Selvadurai fans
Ever since I read Selvadurai’s Funny Boy some years ago, I've wanted to lay my hands on his second book, Cinnamon Gardens. However, it was only recently that I got to it and having read it, I’ll say that though it does not wholly match Funny Boy in its thematic significance or innocence, it still makes for easy, enjoyable and elegant reading -- a Selvadurai trademark by the way.

Unlike Funny Boy, where words flow fast and furious into the pages, in Cinnamon Gardens, the language and style appear
...more
Iceman
Eis aqui uma obra que me encantou e cuja existência, até do autor, era para mim totalmente desconhecida.

De uma sensibilidade marcante, Selvadurai oferece-nos um livro magnífico que nos emociona, que nos envolve numa teia de sentimentos arrebatadores e que, por fim, nos permite ver que a vida nem sempre é o que queremos que seja, ou, se quiserem, que a vida dá voltas e voltas levando-nos por caminhos que nem sempre são aquilo que desejamos.

A escrita de Shyam é poderosa, cativante, poética.

É dos t
...more
Shane
Great coverage on the history of Sri Lanka leading up to Independence. The vantage point, like in Funny Boy is that of the gay male even though there is a raft of other characters, and while I appreciate that is the authors orientation, I would have prefered a more balanced rendition. Still, its a book I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn about the pre-Independance conflicts of Sri Lanka; there are some clues thrown in that point to the present conflict as well
Maria João
8,5 de 10*

Muito bom este livro. Retrata uma cultura diferente e distante. Ao ínicio não é fácil de ler, porque os nomes e os locais são estranhos e difíceis de associar aos personagens, mas uma vez compreendido o enredo e as suas ligações, torna-se num romance muito interessante.
A história passa-se em Ceilão, mais propriamente na localidade de Colombo, em Cinnamon Gardens (que dá o título ao livro). Aí acompanhamos a vida de vários ramos da familia: por um lado, temos Balendran, que toda a sua v
...more
Anu
When each chapter begins with a Tirukkural verse, you gotta read the book,right?
Malathie
I found myself unable to distract from Cinnamon Gardens once I started reading it. As I was proceeding page by page, contrary to my beliefs, I had been forced to realize by the book itself that, of all the three novels of Selavadurai including the award winning Funny Boy, Cinnamon Gardens is simply the best. Not only the best of him but it should rather be considered one of the best ever write ups that discusses the old Ceylon under the British influence and the elite society emerged from the ce ...more
Kristin
I enjoyed this book, particularly the poetic quality of the writer's style. The book is largely about the inability of the two main character's, Annalukshmi and Balendran, to pursue their desires/dreams due to the cultural expectations/restrictions of their time. Annalukshmi because she wants to pursue teaching, and women are not allowed to pursue both a career and be married at the same time. And Balendran is gay, something inconceivable in 1920s Ceylon in uppercaste society where he is expecte ...more
Ana Raquel
No início do livro, a leitura processa-se de forma mais lenta, e isto deve-se ao facto de o autor ser demasiado descritivo. Contudo depois de conhecermos as personagens, é difícil de o deixar de ler :)

A ação deste romance desenrola-se nos anos 20 do século XX e como tal espelha temas abordados por outros escritores tais como: Jane Austen, irmãs Brontë e Edward Morgan Forster.

As personagens principais são a Annaluksmi e Balendran. Annaluksmi é uma rapariga que almeja independência de forma, a ded
...more
Linnéa
I'm a big sucker for historical fiction. Call me a nerd, and I will promptly own up to it, I promise. There are often times though when I pick up a book in this genre and it's not only embarrassingly cliche but it's also immaturely predictable. Don't get me wrong, I understand that it's hard to write historical fiction, especially within a setting where actual historical events take place- everyone knows what happens in the end, more or less. But this book was a really nice change. I've never re ...more
Madeline
Is this a three or a four star book? That's a ridiculous question - I don't think that much of star ratings, except as a kind of mnemonic device (and not even a particularly good one) - and yet I'm trying to figure out what I think about the book, and I'm sort of torn. Selvadurai's prose doesn't impress me particularly, in fact I don't think very highly of it at all and it was a significant barrier to my appreciation, but I think ultimately Cinnamon Gardens talked me into liking it. Liking the b ...more
Lauren
Cinnamon Gardens is set in 1927 Colombo Sri Lanka in an elite section of the city. The novel traces the lives of two relatives, Annalukshmi and Bala. Annalukshmi is a bookish teacher who is the eldest of three daughters. She is facing pressure to marry but she wishes to remain a teacher. Unfortunately for Annalukshmi, having a career and marriage are mutually exclusive. Bala is the son of a prominent Colombo citizen who is a closet homosexual. When his former lover from London appears in Sri Lan ...more
duck reads
Set in 1920s-Ceylon, Cinnamon Gardens' focus is shared between Annalukshmi, a young teacher dealing with pressure from her family to submit to an arranged marriage while trying to figure out what she wants out of life, and her uncle Balendran, who is forced at the age of forty to reevaluate his obedience to his father and his happiness in his quiet, careful, respectable life. A really charming book that eschews convenient endings in favour of realistic characters making the choices they can live ...more
Alaine
Reading this book for a book group-having never heard of it, I enjoyed it very much. A historical novel delving into the lives of wealthy Sri Lankans in the 1920's. Reminded me of an Asian Downton Abbey.
It moved along at a good pace, and was satisfying.
Jasreet Badyal
I loved this. It was a book that came at the right time in my life, many of the difficulties that Annalukshmi and Balendran were encountering had resonance for me. Selvadurai's writing is beautiful. I felt the tone was sometimes naive, but then saw some of that unravel in neat ways, which was worth holding out for. :D
Dedrick Burch
Although there is an interesting gay sub-plot, I would not describe this book as a gay book. To me, it was more a story about relationships during the time of great conflict in Sri Lanka. Like his previous novel, Funny Boy, Selvadurai creates some very likeable characters who are struggling with the conflicts created by their homosexual feelings in a society where this is not accepted at all. The other dominate conflict in the book dealt with the violent racism rampant in Sri Lanka at the time. ...more
Anna
While I'm glad I stuck it out for the satisfying mini-triumphs of the main characters, this novel has a slow, awkward start. Not nearly as eloquent as Funny Boy, but very interesting as historical fiction, it follows the lives of a queer man and strong young woman finding their ways in colonized Sri Lanka where class and tradition rule.

Though not one of my favourites, this book will have lasting importance to me in its relevance to injustices that still exist (colonialism, sexism, homophobia, c
...more
Doug Gordy
Although a bit different in style and content from his first, more autobiographical, first novel, 'Funny Boy', this is also an outstanding and fascinating book, giving a convincing glimpse into the Ceylon of the 1920's ...would also make a wonderful movie, if someone had the courage to film it.
Nádia Batista
"Sair um bocado do pequeno mundo do qual eu gosto de ler. Aventurar-me um bocadinho mais além. No início deste ano, foi com Isabel Allende e a sua América do Sul. Agora, pela primeira vez, deixei Shyam Selvadurai encaminhar-me pelo mundo do Ceilão e dar-me a conhecer este pais, as suas pessoas, os seus costumes, o seu vocabulário, no início do século passado. Estava um bocado insegura relativamente a viajar para tão longe mas depois de conhecer os Jardins de Canela, rendi-me completamente."

Leiam
...more
Jennifer
This is a story of the parellel lives of cousins living in Sri Lanka. One, Belandran, is a gay man, living a lie to please his father, the other, a young woman, longs to be free to pursue her career and find love on her own terms. An interesting portrait of a traditional Sri Lankan family living and excelling under British rule.

The book considers how much is worth giving up to be ourselves and examines the masks that the many members of this family wear in different forms.
Steve Woods
Well wriiten account of the intricaate workings of an upper class Ceyonese family at the turn of thr 20th century. A pleasnat enough read offering much insight into colonila Ceylonese society at the upper end and the upheaval accomapnying small moves towards independence. In a way the country mirroring the struggles of Bala andhis niece as they try to find their won way surrounded by the strictures of their socila milleu. An easy read but it didn't excite me much.
Frenchy Faith
A well written book with realistic characters in the midst of tangible dilemmas. It was a first discovery for me of what life in Sri Lanka might be like, and of the differences between customs and issues on the island and in India. I liked the two strong characters the story mostly focused on and their dealings with love vs. duty/reason. Their choices went against all romantic idea one might want a character to go for, yet they sadly made sense.
Zweegas

This is one of those books that took two weeks to get through the first 80 pages and then I read the rest of it in two sittings. It just takes getting accustomed to the novel's world. For instance, the beginning has lots of intricate descriptions of architecture which I skimmed over. Also, it took a while to overcome my revulsion of all the characters and their fcked-up culture.

(My reading group's June 2007 book pick.)
Emily
Sep 07, 2007 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who appreciates reading a story through the eyes of another culture
I could not put this book down. A wonderful story about following your heart and having the courage to be the person you truly are regardless of society's and family expectations that ask you to lead a life suitable for them but miserable for you. It was great to have both a male and female lead character who ultimately are struggling with the same pressures. I definitely found a new favorite author.
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Shyam Selvadurai is a Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist who wrote Funny Boy (1994), which won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and Cinnamon Gardens (1998). He currently lives in Toronto with his partner Andrew Champion.

Selvadurai was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka to a Sinhalese mother and a Tamil father--members of conflicting ethnic groups whose troubles form a major theme in his work. Ethnic riots
...more
More about Shyam Selvadurai...
Funny Boy Swimming in the Monsoon Sea The Hungry Ghosts Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers Many Roads through Paradise: An Anthology of Sri Lankan Literature

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