Outstanding Works By Sri Lankan Women Authors You Need To Read Immediately - Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka
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Outstanding Works By Sri Lankan Women Authors You Need To Read Immediately

Must-haves for your nightstand

Graywolf Press/Penguin Books

Looking for a stunner of a book to read as part of your late night/early morning routine? These page-turners will keep you captivated with their layered characters, compulsive plots, and descriptions of Sri Lanka that evoke and inspire a nostalgia you didn’t know existed.

On Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman

Graywolf Press
Graywolf Press

A story of the civil war and childhoods disrupted. When the Herath family moves into Sal Mal Lane, life is but a dream. Friendships grow and dependencies arise in the neighbourhood, and for the residents, it seems inconceivable that their lives will be anything but intertwined.  But when the undercurrents of war refuse to be ignored, its bitter notes are felt throughout the island, including on Sal Mal Lane. Ru Freeman digs deep into questions like, is there a distinction between our politics and our preferences? And who do we call family? You’ll find yourself thinking hard, too.

Love Marriage by V. V. Ganeshananthan

Random House
Random House

For every young girl who’s wondered about the pros and cons of a love marriage and an arranged marriage, and all the variants that lie in between, this book is for you. Told through a series of vignettes, its narrator Yalini ponders her place in the world between her Sri Lankan parents and New York, where she’s been raised, realising that the violence she thought they’d left behind in Sri Lanka is still very much present. But will her family decide who Yalini is to be, and is there space to carve out her own life?

Very much every Sri Lankan woman at some point in her life, Yalini’s exploration into ethnicity and heritage entices you to think about what is to be a modern-day Sri Lankan woman, post-civil war. The past is really not all that far behind.

Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera

Penguin
Penguin

If there was ever a novel of the resilience of the island and its perpetual beauty, this is surely it. As with Freeman (above), Munaweera also tells of the civil war, immigration, and morals wasted and replaced through the eyes of children, but where you’ll really take a breath is at its decadent description of the island. What Captain Corelli’s Mandolin did for Greece, Island of a Thousand Mirrors does for Sri Lanka: it highlights the heart-wrenching natural beauty and robust culture of a place ravaged by the most awful facets of humanity.

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala

Knopf
Knopf

You’ll move through this book seamlessly because the words flow into each other, capturing a story before you know it’s begun, and ending it just as swiftly. Some parts you’ll move through in lightning speed, desperate to find out what happens next, or too scared to face the emotions it may trigger in you. And some moments will make you slow down because they feel like Deraniyagala has found the essence of life, before the tsunami took her family away, and the grit of it all, when she has to start it anew.

It’s a book that won’t give you the answers but the courage to face your tussles and work them through, strand by strand. Just read it.

Reyna’s Prophecy by Radhika Philip

Harper Collins
Harper Collins

An incredible product of fantasy fiction, and the first book of a trilogy, the title combines human and animal worlds in an effort to save the Kingdom. Part of an ancient prophecy, Reyna grows up tumultuously, with the privileges of her family bearing down. With her guardian, the talking-crow, Magenta, and her long-suffering canine friend, Reyna must look beyond her years to her destiny, and then even past.

You don’t have to be a pure-fantasy fan to appreciate this book; you only have to be pure life. Drawing from Sri Lanka’s numerous wildlife injustices, economic strife and political instability, Philip takes you into a land which is new, but so relatable it feels like home.

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