Anuk Arudpragasam details the horror of the Sri Lankan army assault on the ‘Tamil Tiger’ strongholds in the north of the country which ended in 2009, for which the international community has accused the Sri Lankan government of war crimes. The ordinary civilian population was subject to indiscriminate shelling. Many died. Dinesh typifies the suffering and struggle for survival, living in the midst of routine, habitual death and mutilation. The population drifts on in hopeless futility. Life, including marriage, continues, but its banality is exposed. Death is expected. Arudpragasam’s writing is often flat and matter of fact, conveying the very ordinary detail of life reduced to mere existence.
Really wanted to like this. Good reviews and interesting subject matter. It's a short book but took me ages to get through. Just couldn't get into it. Very slow pace and the editing could be better as there is some odd phrasing in places. A little disappointing.
I am currently on chapter five and it's slow going for me. The subject matter is compelling but I am struggling to connect to Dinesh, the main character. The style of writing doesn't draw me in and I am finding myself skim reading some parts and having to really concentrate on others to make sense of it. I had enjoyed reading the opening few pages in the book...hence why I purchased it. But I am starting to feel thoughroughly dissapointed with my purchase.
A very simple little story set over the course of a single day in a Sri Lankan refugee camp. Dinesh lives on the edge of the camp, helping occasionally to deal with victims of the shelling but mostly keeping to himself. He is approached by one of the camp residents who asks him to marry his daughter - the rebels outside the camp are slightly less likely to abduct women who are married.
It's written in very delicate, slow-moving prose with little dialogue, a surprising amount of which deals with Dinesh's bodily functions. Which is the heart of the story: without a home, a family , love or hope, people eventually become not much more than the autonomous functions that never stop, until they do.