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Funny Boy: A Novel in Six Stories [Kindle Edition]

Shyam Selvadurai
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

In the world of his large family, affluent Tamils living in Colombo, Arjie is an oddity, a 'funny boy' who prefers dressing as a girl to playing cricket with his brother. In FUNNY BOY we follow the life of the family through Arjie's eyes, as he comes to terms both with his own homo-sexuality and with the racism of the society in which he lives. In the north of Sri Lanka there is a war going on between the army and the Tamil Tigers, and gradually it begins to encroach on the family's comfortable life. Sporadic acts of violence flare into full scale riots and lead, ultimately, to tragedy. Written in clear, simple prose, Syam Selvadurai's first novel is masterly in its mingling of the personal and political.

Product Description


"Exquisitely written...superb" Independent "At first sight an innocently observed portrait of Tamil family life in seventies Sri Lanka, it metamorphosed into a lucid, serious piece of writing... Selvadurai's world is delightful, frightening, important and he describes it with touching clarity... His novel is a graceful and intelligent account of the random nature of growing up" Observer "A quiet masterpiece" Gay Times "The unadorned and simple prose has elegance and great sophistication. Moreover, Selvadurai has a genius for touching a nerve with a feather-light touch... A powerful and beautifully written novel" Literary Review

About the Author

Shyam Selvadurai was born in 1965 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He left Sri Lanka after the 1983 riots in Colombo and settled with his family in Canada. He lives in Toronto.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 467 KB
  • Print Length: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099459213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099459217
  • ASIN: B0031RS59M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,750 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, innocent, but ultimately shocking 17 Mar. 2000
By A Customer
The final chapter of 'Funny Boy' left me fighting back the tears as the victimisation of the Tamil population during the Colombo riots is shockingly relived. A vivid portrait of communal antagonism in Sri Lanka through the eyes of a Arjie, a young Tamil boy who is also coming to terms with his own dawning homosexuality. The innocence of his friendships, first with his aunt, then his family's lodger and later with his first boyfriend, are beautiful. But although the gay aspect is an important element in this unique portrait of childhood, unlike so much gay fiction which obsessively puts it at the centre of everything, it was almost incidental here. This is how it should be in real life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 7 Aug. 2008
By Pamela
We spent three years working in Colombo from 1984 - 1987 and so are very familiar with the tragic situation described in this book. Reading about places I recognise was especially poignant as, despite the awfulness of racial conflict and discrimination, we did love our time in Sri Lanka. This is a book of great depth and sensitivity and Arje's blossoming homosexuality is beautifully portrayed. The awfulness of the riots and build up to them has once again made me realise just how cruel people can be and how the world never changes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 28 Mar. 2011
A sensual and delicate compilation of family tales (and dawning sexual realisation) resting upon a cauldron that's about to boil over. Graceful, charming, poignant and alarming. A really lovely book to be savoured and returned to.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Buy 2 April 2009
An easy-to-read moving book and a great insight into how the historical/political turmoil in Sri Lanka over the last 30 years affected 'real' people. A recommended read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I related to this book. 21 Jan. 2010
What a wonderful mix of burgeoning pansy-gay-child self-identification and the political upheaval in his world.
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