Archive | Fiction / Creative Writing RSS feed for this section

Launch of Short & Sweet: An anthology of (very) short stories on Sri Lanka

After over an year in production, ‘Short & Sweet’, Sri Lanka’s first hint fiction anthology is almost ready to hit the bookshelves in Sri Lanka, and online bookstores. As noted in the original call for submissions on Groundviews in August 2012, “But before form comes content. Twitter’s @sixwordstories demonstrates that even as little as six […]

Book review: The Hungry Ghosts

The Hungry Ghosts is Shyam Selvadurai’s fourth novel, and almost certainly his best. The themes are familiar, from the personal strife caused by the narrator’s sexuality and ethnicity, to the political backdrop of Sri Lanka’s civil war, but the whole narrative is handled with an accomplishment and quiet authority that marks a real step up […]

Writing to Reconcile in Sri Lanka

Image courtesy Green College I interviewed over email the award-winning author Shyam Selvadurai on a new initiative called Write to Reconcile, of which he is Project Director. Groundviews featured an in-depth interview with Shyam in mid-2011, when he was the curator of the Galle Literary Festival. Write to Reconcile is his brainchild, and I was curious […]

Invitation to prospective writers: A Sri Lankan Anthology of Hint Fiction

Photo courtesy The Blue Bookcase Around two months ago, I picked up on a whim Hint Fiction edited by Robert Swartwood. Swartwood’s definition of hint fiction is ‘a story of 25 words or fewer that suggests a larger, more complex story’. As the book’s blurb on Amazon notes, “The stories in this collection run the gamut […]

Reconciling what? History, Realism and the Problem of an Inclusive Sri Lankan Imaginary

What does reconciliation signify in the Sri Lankan context? In many post-conflict contexts the idea of reconciliation dominates public discussion. This is no different in Sri Lanka. But what exactly is meant by reconciliation? As Susan Dwyer (1999) points out there has been a “global frenzy” on this topic in the post-Apartheid era with the […]

Arthur C Clarke’s World of 2012: Insights from his Titanic Novel

The year was 1989. Margaret Thatcher and George Bush, Snr., were in office. Mikhail Gorbachev was slowly but surely dismantling the Soviet Union. The infamous Iron Curtain was crumbling under pressure from ‘people power’ across Eastern Europe. On the technology front, Personal Computers (PCs) had entered the market only a few years earlier: they were […]

In conversation with Shashi Tharoor at Galle Literary Festival

As part of the Galle Literary Festival, I had the opportunity to speak with Shashi Tharoor, whose writing I’ve immensely enjoyed read since my University days in India. As the festival’s website notes, Shashi Tharoor is the prize-winning author of twelve books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the classic The Great Indian Novel (1989), India: […]

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: O is for our people

Boys will not always be boys! Photo credit: National Geographic The possessive pronoun “our” is deceptively simple. But who are the “we” that it refers to? The expression our people is a remarkably high-frequency term in Sri Lankan English. On a search of the Groundviews website, the phrase gets around 400 hits, compared to just […]

Niromi 2009 versus Niromi Tigress 2011

Niromi de Soyza’s so-called autobiography, Tamil Tigress, has received extensive coverage in Australia and has traversed the world now because of critical reviews by several personnel and devoted defence from others. It has been described as “part memoir, part compelling reportage, part mea culpa” by Nikki Barrowclough in the Sydney Morning Herald’s weekend magazine.[i] Gordon […]

The singer might change but the song remains the same: A critical look at Roberts and Sarvananthan ‘outing’ Niromi de Soyza

“….. Everybody believed them to be solid and inanimate – to be true facts. No one yet understood that life would become an uncomfortable, endless walk down a sea shore laid thick with facts of all sizes and shapes. Boulders, pebbles, shards, perfect ovals. No one had begun to imagine that these facts were without […]

Outing a Counterfeit Guerrilla: A tale of lies by Tamil Tigress Niromi de Soyza

The objective of this research note is not only to uncover the truth or otherwise of the “memoir” by Niromi de Soyza (nom de guerre) titled Tamil Tigress: My story as a child soldier in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, but to go beyond and investigate the purpose/s of publication of her “personal story” and […]

The Role of Writers and Artists during Turbulent Political Times

I was requested to speak about the important role writers and artists play in the struggle against oppression and in the protection of democratic and human rights of the oppressed. We all know that writers and artists hold strong views on political matters, though they may not be vocal at times. Some of them are […]

Going beyond mainstream media: The best Twitter feeds on and from Sri Lanka

Just over a year ago, in April 2010, Groundviews launched two curated Twitter lists on Sri Lanka to help those in and outside the country access news, information and critical conversations that went far beyond mainstream media’s economic and partisan shackles. One list featured some of the most compelling bloggers in Sri Lanka. The other, […]

Refuge for Colonel Gadaffi in Island Paradise?

16 April 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka has in its history occasionally served as a refuge for persecuted personalities but it may have its most controversial refugee yet. Colonel Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi has reportedly secured an understanding with the Government to Sri Lanka to secure refuge in the country in the eventuality that he has to […]