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Tag Archives: Shehan Karunatilaka

State of the nation

Review of Andrew Fidel Fernando’s debut book Upon a Sleepless Isle, which has just won Sri Lanka’s Gratiaen Prize (2019) for English-language literature. – For The Critic

‘It is the living we should fear’

DISCLAIMER: Ten years ago, I reviewed Shehan Karunatilaka’s debut novel, Chinaman, for this newspaper. It was brilliant, I said, and everyone should buy it. I noted, though, for form’s sake, that I’d done some light proofreading of the manuscript, and hoped that this would not be taken either as cause or symptom of inoperable bias. [...]

Living in a ghost town

Ten years ago, I wrote the world’s first review of Chinaman, for the Sri Lankan Sunday Times. Last week, I interviewed Shehan Karunatilaka at the launch of his new novel, Chats with the Dead, at Barefoot Gallery. Here are the (brutally-abbreviated) highlights of those proceedings. – For The Sunday Times (SL)

Too much Sade, not enough de Sade

Sri Lankan erotica comes of age (prematurely) Blue: stories for adults ed. Ameena Hussein It is practically impossible to write good erotica. By which we mean literary porn. By which we mean ‘even DH Lawrence couldn’t really pull it off’. In the UK there’s actually an annual Bad Sex Award, routinely won (‘won’) by mainstream [...]

The greatest Googly (n)ever bowled?

Chinaman: the legend of Pradeep Mathew – Shehan Karunatilaka Chinaman is brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you. If you don’t have a spare Rs. 800 to rush out and buy it right now, then starve yourself/rent a trishaw/sell your grandmother – whatever it takes to raise the cash. Can we leave it there? No, I suppose [...]

Drowning in a tsunami of cliché?

The Gratiaen Prize 2009 The Gratiaen Prize – for those of you not up on your South Asian literary gongs – is an annual award given to Sri Lankan writers for creative writing in English, f(o)unded in 1993 by Michael Ondaatje, with his English Patient Booker winnings. Writing-in-English is a small crowd here – ‘here’ [...]

Second Thoughts

Very Short Stories* by ASH Smyth (et al.) * inspired by the Galle Literary Festival’s Opening Lines Project Antony Beevor In history, as in politics, intellectual honesty is the first casualty of moral outrage. In both disciplines, the first casualty of intellectual honesty is one’s wallet. David Blacker ‘He hit the morning, running, Benzedrine and [...]

Beer, Roving, and getting to write your own headlines

Letter from the Galle Literary Festival 2011. – For theartsdesk

Chicken dancing, naughty Tamil literature, and Rana Dasgupta goes Solo (outdoors)

Galle Literary Festival diary – part 3.

(Beer and) Roving on the literary circuit

Despatches from the Galle Literary Festival (SL Sunday Times).