"Haunting and immense tenderness. the extraordinary poetic tact of this book makes it unforgettable" - John Berger, The Guardian"Profoundly moving. Sivanandan triumphs in his evocation of a beautiful country he perceives as doomed. His love for the country he has lost is the driving passion of his work" - Evening Standard"This is not just a book about Sri Lanka. The struggles it touches upon, both moral and political, face us all: the battle between our hunger for love or learning or success and our need, even passion, for integrity. This is a book of, and about, many lifetimes" - Melissa Benn, The Independent"This rich novel, peopled with unforgettable heroines and heroes, will haunt the reader's mind"- David Rose, The observer"A brilliant and moving first novel" - TLSVom Verlag:
The Buddha taught that to live is to experience suffering. Few family sagas, especially first ones, have captured this aspect of suffering and so many other truths in as lyric a fashion as "When Memory Dies." Through the viewpoints of three generations of a Sri Lankan family (taking the reader from 1920 through the 1980s), Sivanandan explores a culture destroyed first by colonization, then through the ethnic divisions that are released when the country achieves independence. The family, which lives at a level of poverty that makes survival a constant struggle, must also balance love for one another with a deep love of their homeland. Without bending to romanticism or proselytization, the author evokes a compelling and very human story of a lost country. It is a vision as beautifully told as it is unrelenting in its devotion to truth. In the process, the work also supplies a rich historic background to the often underreported news accounts of the massacres and upheavals in Sri Lanka.
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