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Broken Jaw

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Minoli Salgado's Broken Jaw is a beautifully orchestrated collection of eighteen stories set mainly in Sri Lanka from a writer who has gained international recognition for her evocative representation of the trauma of war. This brave and passionate book not only speaks against silences - official and unofficial - but also tests the limits of what can be said, reminding us ...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published June 6th 2019 by The 87 Press

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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Hugh
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2020

This is probably the least known book on the recently announced longlist for this year's Republic of Consciousness prize - before the announcement it was not even visible on GoodReads. This is the second review here - Paul wrote an excellent and comprehensive one yesterday, so mine will be shorter.

Salgado had a well travelled childhood in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and later England, and it is the civil war in Sri Lanka that is the dominant theme
...more
Paul Fulcher
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the effects of battle in this region is that it makes poverty indistinguishable from war. A broken roof is a broken roof; its causes are unclear. It is left to the human body to mark the boundary where poverty ends and where political violence begins.

Minoli Salgado's collection of short stories Broken Jaw, published by 87 Press, is shortlisted for the 2020 Republic of Consciousness Prize. Her novel A Little Dust on the Eyes was published in 2014 by Peepal Tree Press, a publisher shortli
...more
Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer
I read this book due to its longlisting for the 2020 Republic of Consciousness Prize for UK and Irish small presses - for which it has now been shortlisted.

It is published by The 87: “a small press, publishing collective, events organiser, and platform for discussion” which is “especially interested in supporting writers from under-represented, minority groups”

The author’s background (which is relevant to this book) is described on her website

Minoli Salgado was born in Kuala Lumpur and grew u
...more
Neil
Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it
A collection of 18 short stories, 15 in a section called Rumours and 3 in a section called Ventriloquy And Other Acts. The focus of the stories is Sri Lanka at the time of civil war. The first few stories are very clearly stories of the war and paint a dark picture of the country and what it is like to live there:

A dead body was less remarkable than a missing motorbike now

These first stories are very powerful and, sometimes, harrowing. The very first story, Million Dollar Wounds, for example, re
...more
Robert
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
The title Broken Jaw comes from a line by T.S. Eliot : ‘This Broken Jaw of our Lost Kingdom’ which is the book’s epigraph. It also is apt considering the main theme of the book.

Sri Lanka has had a turbulent history, namely a bloody civil war that lasted from 1983 to 2009. As the author states in her introduction, a lot of literature is based on the war and a clutch of the short stories in this collection do as well.

Sometimes with short story collections it is better to take them as a whole, that
...more
Alan Teder
Moving Childhood Boarding School Memoir + Short Stories of the impact of the Sri Lankan conflict
Review of The 87 Press paperback edition (2019)

I received Broken Jaw as a perk for my Patreon support of The Republic of Consciousness Prize for small independent publishers.
...more
Ryan Dougans
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
this is just... beautiful and harrowing and heart-breaking. one of the most wonderfully articulated exercises in self-discovery and identity i have ever read
Simon
Dec 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-list
The author of this book went to my university, which I suspect played a part in why it ended up on my reading list. I was wrong to let that lower my expectations, though: this is actually very well written and succeeds in illustrating and illuminating large, difficult topics through smaller human stories. The first part is better than the second, but they are both very good. The word choice in particular is smooth and precise. Every word is exactly the word that needs to be there. Looking forwar ...more
LindaJ^
I read this book as one of the nominees for the 2020 Republic of Consciousness prize. It is a book of short stories, ranging from 1.5 to 15 pages. It is divided into two parts, with Part I- Rumours - containing 15 stories with the first 9 and one other related to the impact of the 26 year civil war in the country that ended in 2009. Part II - Ventriloquy and Other Acts - has 3 stories that are somewhat autobiographical concerning a young girl's life at three stages.

I found the stories related to
...more
Draziwd Nim
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I came to Broken Jaw having read Salgado's first novel, A Little Dust on the Eyes - winner of the very first SI Leeds Literary Prize in 2012. The thematic continuity between the two works is clear: both engage with the interplay of political violence, traumatic loss and the impact of exile and dislocation on both individuals and communities, mainly in Sri Lanka. Salgado, however, has mastered the art of exploring heavy topics with a lightness of touch that is at once poetic and powerful. These e ...more
Bob Lopez
Nov 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Konstantin R.
Apr 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
[unfinished]
I attempted to read this for the Republic of Consciousness Prize and could not get through it. I didn't even finish one of the short/micro stories in the collection. Although I'm sure this is a very serious topic (Sri Lanka's civil war), none of the stories came to me. Perhaps they all added up in some way, but the pieces must have been too nebulous. I like the idea of giving voice to censored ideas and discourses, but this, I think, took itself too seriously and hurt its own chances
...more
Mark
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
The brutality of the first few stories gradually gives way to a more nostalgic filtering of family, memory, and growing up. Even so the school-age novella that ends the book feels out of place. But it’s nice.
Vinita Damodaran
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a gem of a book by a master narrator of prose. It is moving and beautiful in parts
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The Mookse and th...: 2020 RoC longlist: Broken Jaw 16 51 Apr 16, 2020 01:30AM  

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