January Book Read: The Story of a Brief Marriage
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About the book:
2.5 decades into a devastating civil war, Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority is pushed towards the coast by the advancing army. Amongst the evacuees is Dinesh, whose world has contracted to a makeshift camp where time is measured by the shells that fall around him like clockwork. Alienated from family, home, language, and body, he exists in a state of mute acceptance, numb to the violence around him, till he is approached one morning by an old man who makes an unexpected proposal: that Dinesh marry his daughter, Ganga. Marriage, in this world, is an attempt at safety. As a couple, they would be less likely to be conscripted to fight for the rebels, and less likely to be abused in the case of an army victory. Set over the course of a single day and night, the book confronts marriage and war, life and death, bestowing on its subjects the highest dignity, however briefly.
About the Author:
Born in Colombo to Tamil parents, Arudpragasam moved to the US at 18 to attend Stanford University for his undergrad studies and began his phD in Philosophy at Columbia University in Protected content . His debut novel The Story of a Brief Marriage won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize.
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