In Shyam Selvadurai’s remarkable debut novel, a boy’s bittersweet passage to maturity and sexual awakening is set against escalating political tensions in Sri Lanka during the seven years leading up to the 1983 riots.
Arjie Chelvaratnam is a Tamil boy growing up in an extended family in Colombo. It is through his eyes that the story unfolds and we meet a delightful, sometimes eccentric, cast of characters. Arjie’s journey from the luminous simplicity of childhood days into the more intricately shaded world of adults-with its secrets, its injustices, and its capacity for violence-is a memorable one, as time and time again the true longings of the human heart are held against the way things are.
Exquisitely written, and masterly in its mingling of the personal and the political, Funny Boy has established itself as a classic.
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