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Books Set in Asia > Sri Lanka




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message 20: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (TerrencePerera) | 28 comments "Sri Lankan and Zimbabwean Memories" by Terrence Perera

This book is a collection of autobiographical reminiscences of the author’s life, mainly in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. The author has also lived in Australia, Zambia and Canada. The book portrays the lifestyle and customs of the people amongst whom the author has lived and is written in a humorous, satirical style that makes the book interesting reading.
The book deals with the author’s early upbringing, his schooling at Holy Cross College and his life at the University of Ceylon. It also deals with his period of Articles to qualify as a chartered accountant and the jobs he held in Sri Lanka. In addition, the book details his family life in Sri Lanka.
The author left Sri Lanka in 1975 and worked in Zambia. He then left Zambia for Zimbabwe where he and his family lived for the next twenty years. The book contrasts the lifestyles in Sri Lanka and Africa.
He came to Zimbabwe with his family in 1981 just after that country obtained independence. However, though Zimbabwe obtained political independence, the country continued to be dominated economically by the White minority for many more years and this was a sore point with the Black rulers. Nevertheless, strangely enough, most Africans regarded the Whites with affection and respect.
There was also in Zimbabwe a large Asian community, consisting of business people of Indian origin whose parents or grandparents had come over from India. The author and his family were automatically categorised as belonging to this community.
The book explores the personal experiences of the author in this situation. It also relates, particularly in the chapter, “The Mount Pleasant Sports Club”, of how the author overcame racial prejudices and formed intimate, lasting friendships with many of his White colleagues.
The book further relates how in Zimbabwe, the author turned Horticulturist from Chartered Accountant and grew roses, for export to Europe, in a plastic-covered metal greenhouse of extent one full hectare!


message 19: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (TerrencePerera) | 28 comments "Hernando Villa: A Sri Lankan Love Story" by Terrence Perera

"Hernando Villa" is mainly the love story of a Sinhala boy and a Tamil girl, set in the background of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka in the early years of the 21st century.
Thulasi Muttulingam in her review of the book in “Ceylon Today” wrote:
“Though the book claims to be a love story, it is essentially much more than that. It is the story of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans over the last hundred years....It is one of those “unputdownable” books that will keep the reader turning the pages to know what happens next....read it, you won’t regret it.”
The book starts with an account of the upper class Hernando family living at Goratuwa, a town in Sri Lanka. They live in “Hernando Villa”, their ancestral home built by their ancestor, Gate Mudliyar Elaris Hernando in the 19th century. The gate mudliyar’s memory is still revered by the local people.
With this family as the central focus of the book, stories are also told of people connected to the Hernando family – their Tamil friends whom they saved during the 1983 race riots, their Sinhalese friends who had an inter-caste, inter-religious marriage, the loyal fisher-folk living close to the villa and the village people of the area.
The main love story is between Nihal Hernando and Padma Rajaratnam. Padma is sent by her parents in Canada to Sri Lanka to get herself a suitable husband: a husband who is Jaffna-Tamil, high-caste and Hindu!
Nihal’s parents want him to marry a Sinhala, Christian girl of the same caste as themselves. The book deals with how both families initially vehemently oppose this love affair, but eventually give in and consent to the marriage.
In contrast, there is the story of how, a hundred years earlier, the gate mudliyar’s son was sent to Oxford for higher studies and how he became friendly with a White girl, an earl’s daughter: of how his mother threatened to commit suicide and hence succeeded in terminating this friendship.
The book endeavours to give an idea of Sri Lankan life over different decades, cultures and societies. Nevertheless, the book is written in a satirical style with lively comic touches that makes the book interesting reading.


message 18: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (TerrencePerera) | 28 comments "Turmoil at the Villa" by Terrence Perera

“Turmoil at the Villa” is the sequel to “Hernando Villa” and is the continuing saga of the Hernando family. It continues to give a colourful but real idea of Sri Lankan life.
The main theme of the book is that ancient old story of an upper-class boy falling in love with a lower-class girl. This theme is explored in an interesting manner in the context of Sri Lankan customs and attitudes. William, the younger brother, falls in love with a girl who the family regards as being far beneath them in social standing!
William also has a natural talent for cricket and blossoms forth into a world-class cricketer. He gets the opportunity to play in the Final of the Cricket World Cup between India and Sri Lanka due to a sudden accident that befalls a member of the Sri Lanka cricket team.
“Turmoil at the Villa” also deals with political intrigue and corruption in high places. Reshan Hernando, the head of the family, has long eschewed politics; but he is finally persuaded to contest a seat in Parliament and is subsequently appointed a Senior Cabinet Minister. He is a novice in this “dirty game of politics” and cannot see through the corruption and manoeuvrings that are taking place. When he finally does see what is going on and takes action, tragedy befalls the family.


message 17: by Terrence (new)

Terrence Perera (TerrencePerera) | 28 comments "Unsuitable Boys" by Terrence Perera

The novel commences as a delightful romantic comedy of errors where parents choose the wrong boys for their daughters and where the concept of arranged marriages in Sri Lanka is explored. Further, as a foil to these innocent young loves, there is the sordid affair of the uncle.
Nevertheless, the story takes a tragic turn when one parent, a powerful political figure, decides to terminate his daughter’s love affair by terminating the life of her lover!
The novel takes place in that sad period in Sri Lanka’s history where a “psychosis of fear” pervaded the country and disappearances, killings and abduction by “white vans” were the order of the day.


message 16: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)


message 15: by Sally (last edited Feb 22, 2015 05:24AM) (new)

Sally Tarbox | 3 comments Enjoyed A Historical relation of the Island of Ceylon by Robert Knox- true account of men who were shipwrecked there in pre-colonial times.
Also Eight Years' Wandering in Ceylon by Sir Samuel Baker-White - written by a Victorian traveller and hunter - is surprisingly readable.


message 14: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 430 comments listening to this right now - Island of a Thousand Mirrors about the independance of Ceylon/Sri Lanka - and the persecution of the Tamil's


message 12: by Soph (last edited Jan 21, 2014 05:49AM) (new)


message 11: by Sharanja (last edited Jan 15, 2014 11:51AM) (new)


message 10: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)


message 7: by Renuka (last edited Aug 03, 2013 03:38AM) (new)

Renuka | 5 comments The Veddas by Charles Gabriel Seligmann
More of an anthropological study than a novel, it documents the culture and rituals of the Veddas, the aboriginal hunter-gatherer race in Sri Lanka, who will probably soon be fully absorbed into mainstream society.

Wild Ceylon by R.L. SpittelWild Ceylon by R.L. Spittel
Hard to come by but elegantly written and well worth reading if you can get it and have an affinity with wildlife and the jungle.

Stories From The History Of Ceylon For Children by Marie Musæus-Higgins Stories From The History Of Ceylon For Children by Marie Musæus-Higgins
An important book for me because I grew up with European stories and wanted to also know the tales of Sri Lanka.


message 6: by Christopher (last edited May 10, 2013 11:52AM) (new)

Christopher Kelleher (christopher_kelleher) | 2 comments Thanks for this list, Diane -- and thanks for adding to it, Mishma. Sri Lanka is a fascinating country, and I'm intrigued by several of these books.

I'll add a few nonfiction titles:

The Village in the Jungle by Leonard Woolf The Village in the Jungle Memoir by Leonard Woolf, Virginia's husband.

Island of Blood by Anita Pratap Island of Blood

Not Quite Paradise An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka by Adele Barker Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka

Only Man is Vile The Tragedy of Sri Lanka by William McGowan Only Man is Vile: The Tragedy of Sri Lanka

M.I.A. by M.I.A. M.I.A. And we shouldn't forget this art book from M.I.A., who was raised in Sri Lanka.


message 4: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (last edited Jul 21, 2012 09:08PM) (new)

Diane | 8134 comments .


Brixton Beach by Roma TearneBrixton Beach by Roma Tearne (also set in UK)
The Jam Fruit Tree (The Burgher Trilogy, Book 1) by Carl MullerThe Jam Fruit Tree by Carl Muller (1st book of Burgher trilogy)
The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. ClarkeThe Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Cemetery by Carl MullerA Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Cemetery by Carl Muller
Serendib by Jim TonerSerendib by Jim Toner
Bodies in Motion Stories by Mary Anne MohanrajBodies in Motion: Stories by Mary Anne Mohanraj
Selected Short Stories  by මාර්ටින් වික්‍රමසිංහSelected Short Stories by Martin Wickramasinghe
COLOMBO STREETS by Thisuri WanniarachchiCOLOMBO STREETS by Thisuri Wanniarachchi
Spit and Polish by Carl MullerSpit and Polish by Carl Muller
Traitor by ShobasakthiTraitor by Shobasakthi
Colombo A Novel by Carl MullerColombo: A Novel by Carl Muller
Living Their Lie by Brandon IngramLiving Their Lie by Brandon Ingram
Children of the Lion by Carl MullerChildren of the Lion by Carl Muller
The Deception by Ananda LiyanageThe Deception by Ananda Liyanage
The Python Of Pura Malai And Other Stories by Carl MullerThe Python Of Pura Malai And Other Stories by Carl Muller
The Fairy Dance by Brandon IngramThe Fairy Dance by Brandon Ingram
The Healer & the Drug Pusher by Daya DissanayakeThe Healer & the Drug Pusher by Daya Dissanayake
Serendipity by Ashok FerreySerendipity by Ashok Ferrey
Man of Earth by Maggi LidchiMan of Earth by Maggi Lidchi
Kat Bitha by Daya DissanayakeKat Bitha by Daya Dissanayake
The revolt in the temple by D.C. WijewardenaThe revolt in the temple by D.C. Wijewardena
Moonstone by Daya DissanayakeMoonstone by Daya Dissanayake
Colpetty People by Ashok FerreyColpetty People by Ashok Ferrey
Inequality by Daya DissanayakeInequality by Daya Dissanayake
The Good Little Ceylonese Girl by Ashok FerreyThe Good Little Ceylonese Girl by Ashok Ferrey
The Bastard Goddess by Daya DissanayakeThe Bastard Goddess by Daya Dissanayake
Love in the Tsunami by Ashok FerreyLove in the Tsunami by Ashok Ferrey
Monkfish Moon Short Stories by Romesh GunesekeraMonkfish Moon: Short Stories by Romesh Gunesekera
The Sweet and Simple Kind A Poetic Account of a Nation's Troubled Awakening by Yasmine GooneratneThe Sweet and Simple Kind: A Poetic Account of a Nation's Troubled Awakening
Heaven's Edge A Novel by Romesh GunesekeraHeaven's Edge: A Novel by Romesh Gunesekera
In the Same Boat by Channa WickremesekeraIn the Same Boat by Channa Wickremesekera
A Selection of Modern Sri Lankan Poetry in English by Rajiva WijesinhaA Selection of Modern Sri Lankan Poetry in English by Rajiva Wijesinha
The Sandglass by Romesh GunesekeraThe Sandglass by Romesh Gunesekera
In My Mother's House Civil War in Sri Lanka by Sharika ThiranagamaIn My Mother's House: Civil War in Sri Lanka by Sharika Thiranagama
A Year in Green Tea and Tuk-Tuks My Unlikely Adventure Creating an Eco Farm in Sri Lanka by Rory SpowersA Year in Green Tea and Tuk-Tuks: My Unlikely Adventure Creating an Eco Farm in Sri Lanka
The Umbrella Thief by Sybil WettasingheThe Umbrella Thief by Sybil Wettasinghe
The Third Wave A Volunteer Story by Alison ThompsonThe Third Wave: A Volunteer Story by Alison Thompson
Posted in Colombo by Shizue TomodaPosted in Colombo by Shizue Tomoda
The Legend of Pradeep Mathew A Novel by Shehan KarunatilakaThe Legend of Pradeep Mathew: A Novel by Shehan Karunatilaka
Nirvana Effect by Craig GehringNirvana Effect by Craig Gehring
Love Cake by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-SamarasinhaLove Cake by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Tamil tigress by Niromi de SoyzaTamil tigress by Niromi de Soyza
Paradise Poisoned Learning About Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka's Civil Wars by John RichardsonParadise Poisoned: Learning About Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka's Civil Wars


message 2: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (last edited Jan 09, 2012 06:51AM) (new)

Diane | 8134 comments Books set in Sri Lanka:


Anil's Ghost by Michael OndaatjeAnil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje
Cinnamon Gardens by Shyam SelvaduraiCinnamon Gardens by Shyam Selvadurai
Running in the Family by Michael OndaatjeRunning in the Family by Michael Ondaatje
Funny Boy by Shyam SelvaduraiFunny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
Mosquito by Roma TearneMosquito by Roma Tearne
Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam SelvaduraiSwimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai
A Disobedient Girl A Novel by Ru FreemanA Disobedient Girl: A Novel by Ru Freeman
Reef by Romesh GunesekeraReef by Romesh Gunesekera
Bone China by Roma TearneBone China by Roma Tearne
The Road from Elephant Pass by Nihal de SilvaThe Road from Elephant Pass by Nihal de Silva
The Hamilton Case by Michelle de KretserThe Hamilton Case: A Novel by Michelle de Kretser
Not Quite Paradise An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka by Adele BarkerNot Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka by Adele Barker
Chinaman The legend of Pradeep Mathew by Shehan KarunatilakaChinaman: The legend of Pradeep Mathew by Shehan Karunatilaka
The Fountains of Paradise (SF Masterworks, #34) by Arthur C. ClarkeThe Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
July by Karen RobertsJuly by Karen Roberts
Love Marriage A Novel by V.V. GaneshananthanLove Marriage: A Novel by V.V. Ganeshananthan
A Selection of Modern Sri Lankan Short Stories in English by Rajiva WijesinhaA Selection of Modern Sri Lankan Short Stories in English by Rajiva Wijesinha
Monsoons & Potholes (A mad,bad,irreverent account of growing up in Sri Lanka;the trials and tribulations of the heroine in tandem with the country's slippery progress on the road to nowhere) by Manuka WijesingheMonsoons & Potholes by Manuka Wijesinghe
The Flower Boy (Vintage International) by Karen RobertsThe Flower Boy by Karen Roberts
Island of Blood by Anita PratapIsland of Blood by Anita Pratap
The Giniralla Conspiracy ; Five Journals of Sujatha Mallika by Nihal de SilvaThe Giniralla Conspiracy ; Five Journals of Sujatha Mallika by Nihal de Silva
The Moon in the Water by Ameena HusseinThe Moon in the Water by Ameena Hussein
The Far Spent Day by Nihal de SilvaThe Far Spent Day by Nihal de Silva
A Cause Untrue by David BlackerA Cause Untrue by David Blacker
Mythil's Secret by Prashani RambukwellaMythil's Secret by Prashani Rambukwella
Theravada Man by Manuka WijesingheTheravada Man by Manuka Wijesinghe
Zillij by Ameena HusseinZillij by Ameena Hussein
Paduma Meets the Sunbird by Nihal de SilvaPaduma Meets the Sunbird by Nihal de Silva
Milk Rice Stories for Children by Ameena HusseinMilk Rice: Stories for Children by Ameena Hussein
Blue Stories for Adults by Ameena HusseinBlue: Stories for Adults by Ameena Hussein
The Far Field by Edie MeidavThe Far Field by Edie Meidav
Assignment Ceylon (Sam Durell #36) by Edward S. AaronsAssignment Ceylon by Edward S. Aarons
An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon, in the East-Indies (Illustrated Edition) (Dodo Press) by Robert KnoxAn Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East-Indies by Robert Knox
The Sri Lankan Loxodrome by Will AlexanderThe Sri Lankan Loxodrome by Will Alexander
Relative Merits A Personal Memoir of the Bandarabaike Family of Sri Lanka by Yasmine GooneratneRelative Merits: A Personal Memoir of the Bandarabaike Family by Yasmine Gooneratne
The Unyielding Clamor of the Night A Novel by Neil BissoondathThe Unyielding Clamor of the Night: A Novel by Neil Bissoondath


message 1: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane | 8134 comments Post any books set in Sri Lanka here.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Reef (other topics)
Swimming in the Monsoon Sea (other topics)
Cinnamon Gardens (other topics)
Anil's Ghost (other topics)
Mosquito (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Romesh Gunesekera (other topics)
Roma Tearne (other topics)
Shyam Selvadurai (other topics)
Michael Ondaatje (other topics)
Rajiva Wijesinha (other topics)
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