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Fiction Literary

Lutesong and Lament

Tamil Writing from Sri Lanka

edited by Chelva Kanaganayakam

Mawenzi House Publishers Ltd.
Initial publish date
Jan 2001
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2001
    List Price

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Out of print

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The translations in this book bring together, for the first time ever, a comprehensive selection of modern, post-independence Tamil creative writing from Sri Lanka. More than thirty authors, living now in Sri Lanka, Britain, Canada, France, and Norway are represented. They include traditionalists such as Mahakavi, Ilangayarkone, and Ragunathan; modernists such as Nuhman and Ponnuthirai; and diasporic writers such as Cheran and Jayapalan. Their work reflects a tumultuous reality gripped by ethnic, religious, and linguistic strifes that have almost torn the island nation apart.

The short stories and poems in this collection are unique in their imaginative power, their control of form, and their depth of experience. They capture for us a colourful, exotic and yet troubled world within our midst.

The critical introduction discusses the cultural and political background to these stories and poems; a glossary provides access to terms that do not survive translation; and biographical notes sketch the profiles of the authors.

About the author

Chelva Kanaganayakam is currently an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. His publications include Structures of Negation: The Writings of Zulfikar Ghose (1993); Configurations of Exile: South Asian Writers and Their World (1995) and Dark Antonyms and Paradise: The Poetry of Rienzi Crusz (1997).

Chelva Kanaganayakam's profile page

Editorial Reviews

" ...The first major anthology of Sri Lankan Tamil writing translated in English - Lutesong and Lament is a rich, vibrant collection of contemporary writing . . ."
- The Toronto Star

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