Hello dear SepiaReaders, it’s that girl with half a face again. I’ve been absent from the bunker for a while but fresh air is vastly overrated so I wormed my way back in. I hope to hunker down in the bowels of our concrete barracks and start posting furiously. Whether this is promise or a threat greatly depends on how drunk you are while reading this. Cheers!
To kick things off, I’m delighted to discuss the debut novel by non other the mutiny’s own V.V. “Sugi” Ganeshananthan, Love Marriage. Published recently by Random House U.S., the book will also be available in Canada, the U.K. Italy, France, Romania, and Germany. So GO BUY IT, wherever you are. Sugi’s posts on Sepia introduced us to a eloquent writer unafraid to tackle to thorny issues surrounding the Sri Lankan conflict with even-handedness and humor. In Love Marriage she pulls off the astonishing feat of writing about Sri Lanka with an honesty that doesn’t simplify, tackling issues without a trace of polemics, and a love that still remains clear-eyed.
Super full disclaimer: it’s proved incredibly difficult for me to distance myself enough to write a fair review. I know and adore the author as a person, she’s a fellow Sri Lankan, instead of some Kaavya Viswanathan-style American Desi fluff, she wrote about Sri Lanka. And instead of a pretty “beaches and jungles” treatment, she delves into a sticky thicket of diasporas, internecine warfare, generational drift, ‘ethnic’ identity creation, politics, love, nostalgia, loyalty…
(Uh, wait. The book is a fun read, I swear!)
To continue disclaiming: I wrote a review a while ago and kept revising it. Then Sandhya’s awesome Q&A was in the works so I sat on the review so we’d get both pieces up simultaneously. Then I found out that the dastardly speedy Ultrabrown posted a review today (with mistakes!!) so to juice things up a bit, this review was rewritten to go head-to-head with the fearsomely logorrheic (or, to use my favorite made-up word for him, verbacious) Manish.
Prepare to duck as the verbal darts (or in my case, coconuts) fly! Continue reading →