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A Little Dust on the Eyes
It is the late 1980s in southern Sri Lanka and Bradley Sirisena’s father is abducted and tortured during the violent struggle for power between the state and local insurgents. Savi, a Sri Lankan research student long settled in the UK, has lost her way in both her thesis and her life, when she receives a wedding invitation from the uncle she would rather ignore. Meanwhile ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published November 1st 2014 by Peepal Tree Press Ltd.
(first published October 10th 2014)
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‘A Little Dust on the Eyes’ is an extraordinary novel. The blurb describes it as ‘haunting and richly textured’ and so it is. The writing is very visual – images have stayed with me, like the one from the first page where one of the protagonists of the novel, Savi, watches a friend walk away with her child, ‘the pale face of the child, slumped over Hannah’s shoulder, and the small star of her hand as she waved goodbye.’ It is haunting too in the losses it describes. Savi has lost both parents an ...more
This was a captivating reading experience from start to finish. As a fan of Michael Ondaatje's work, I found A Little Dust on the Eyes an intriguing counterpoint to Anil's Ghost. Like Ondaatje, Salgado is preoccupied with the entanglements of love, loss, trauma, nation and memory. A Little Dust on the Eyes' treatment of these concerns, however, has a singularity of style and eloquence of approach that sets it apart from many novels, debut or otherwise. From the first page to the last, I was stru ...more
This is a beautifully realised exploration of departure, dislocation and return. Set during the Sri Lankan civil war, Minoli Salgado has managed to weave a very personal tale of childhood and memory, set against a backdrop of violence and distrust. Her writing is restrained and poetic, with each perfectly crafted sentence building towards a powerful conclusion. A highly recommended debut.