Assured and accomplished, Pradeep Jeganathan's long awaited debut collection of short fiction is a spare, controlled meditation on the details of inhabitation: power and inequality, friendship and enmity, love and loss, violence and its memories. The seven interconnected stories span a near thirty years of his county's recent past; each traces a delicately textured frame of troubling, telling beauty, weaving together, with almost incredible economy, not the often composed image of Sri Lanka - a paradise isle where 'only man is vile' - but a life world, live and remembered, to be lived in again.
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Pradeep Jeganathan is a Senior Fellow at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo where he edits the Centre's scholarly journal, Domains.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
At the Water’s Edge
"And what will you have?" asked Iqbal.
Iqbal had his right arm half lifted, half pointing, as if the gesture itself would produce a drink. It was a movement he used often, and not just for drinks. A waiter arrived quickly, as they always did at the Boating Club, in a buttoned white jacket and long dark pants, standing half turned, at the end of Iqbal’s hand.
"Gray goose martini, straight up, dry," said Krishna.
His eyes moved from Iqbal’s face to the waiter’s, and back to Iqbal’s watching as his friend’s red-flecked eyes flickered.
"What the fuck is that, machang?" grunted Iqbal, knowing well what it was. "This isn’t New York. Have a proper drink."
Siddha who was sipping a coke with a straw laughed prettily, but nervously and looked at Krishna.
"Bring this gentleman a Black Label, and another for me" Iqbal pushed the waiter off, with a flick of his hand.
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