Nayomi Munaweera

Författare till Island of a Thousand Mirrors

2+ verk 425 medlemmar 30 recensioner

Verk av Nayomi Munaweera

Island of a Thousand Mirrors (2012) 288 exemplar
What Lies Between Us (2016) 137 exemplar

Associerade verk

Oakland Noir (2017) — Bidragsgivare — 44 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Sri Lanka
Columbo, Sri Lanka
University of California, Irvine (BA|Lit)
University of California, Riverside (MA|South Asian Lit)
Kort biografi
Nayomi Munaweera was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in Nigeria and settled in Southern California. She holds bachelor's degree in Literature from the University of California, Irvine and a master's degree in South Asian Literature from the University of California, Riverside




In her literary debut, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, author Nayomi Munaweera gives us a story of two women on opposing sides of the Sri Lankan Civil War, one a Sinhala, the other a Tamil.

The book opens with the story of her Sinhala parents’ peaceful childhood, their arranged marriage and the birth of their two daughters. Raised in Colombo, Yasodhara and her sisters were brought up along side a Tamil family whose son, Shiva was their closest playmate. When violence erupted their family emigrated to America while Shiva’s family escaped to England. The two sisters return to Sri Lanka as adults hoping to help young victims of the war, they meet up with Shiva, now a doctor, who has also come to help his native country. But their lives were already linked with a young Tamul girl’s, Saraswathie. She lives in the war zone and although she hoped to become a teacher, she is kidnapped by Sinhala soldiers who rape and terribly abuse her. She then is given over to the Tamil Tigers and is trained to become a killer and eventually a martyr for the Tamil cause.

The author does a masterful job of describing the island with it’s vibrant colors, exotic tastes, and lively sounds making the violence and anger of the Civil War all the more jarring and shocking. Island of a Thousand Mirrors is a painful read, all the more heartbreaking when you learn that a hundred thousand lives were lost in this war.
… (mer)
DeltaQueen50 | 19 andra recensioner | Mar 26, 2024 |
“Sometimes I get this breathless feeling that the war is a living creature, something huge, with a pointed tongue and wicked claws. When the tanks rumble past in the far fields, I feel it breathe; when the air strikes start and the blood flows, I feel it lick its lips. I’ve grown up inside this war, so now I can’t imagine what it would be like to live outside it.”

This book is about Sri Lanka’s Civil War between the Sinhalese and Tamils that took place 1983 – 2009. It is told from the perspective of the eldest daughter of two families, one from each side. One family migrates to the US, but they keep abreast on current events, and the vast majority of the book is centered around Sri Lanka. The other family stays and tries to evade the hostilities but ends up immersed in it. The author provides enough historic content to give the reader the necessary background. It examines the question of what leads someone to become a martyr to the cause:

“What could have led her to this singularly terrible end? What secret wound bled until she chose this most public disassembly of herself? Just moments earlier she had been just another nameless woman in the teeming crowd; now, blown to bits, she was either martyr or mass murderer, according to one’s taste. Either way she had attained instant immortality. But what had led her to that moment? This is a question that haunts me.”

The writing is lyrically descriptive, featuring many cultural elements – food, clothing, customs, religions, and traditions. It contains vivid images of the seascape surrounding the island nation:

“Farther out beyond the reef, where the coral gives way to the true deep, at a certain time of day a tribe of flat silver fish gather in their thousands. To be there is to be surrounded by living shards of light. At a secret signal, all is chaos, a thousand mirrors shattering about him. Then the school speeds to sea and the boy is left in sedate water, a tug and pull of the body as comfortable as sitting in his father’s outspread sarong being sung to sleep.”

It portrays life before the civil war, and how it changed. It is a difficult read in that it describes brutal violence, rapes, burnings, and suicide bombings. Even with all this violent content, the author manages to convey hope for the future.
… (mer)
Castlelass | 19 andra recensioner | Oct 30, 2022 |
A hard-hitting story about the physical, psychological, and cultural devastation of war.
hissingpotatoes | 19 andra recensioner | Mar 14, 2022 |
I registered this book at BookCrossing.com!

Two women grow up in Sri Lanka during the Sri Lankan civil war: Yasodhara grows up in a thriving Sinhalan community, privileged and forward-looking. Saraswathi, from a desperately poor Tamil family, works hard at her small school, hoping to replace the teacher eventually. Yasodhara ultimately leaves Sri Lanka for the United States, while Yasodhara suffers a fate that defines her life and that of others from then on.

I wanted to like this more than I did. It was hard for me to connect with any of the characters until I was well into the book, over halfway through. The story of Saraswathi begins well into the book as well, almost seems an afterthought at the time, and we don't get to know her as well as we get to know Yasodhara.

Although I didn't love the book I recommend it. It illuminates part of the conflict from the ground, making it clear that it is an age-old story. It further illustrates the point that it is hard to hate someone when you know their story.
… (mer)
slojudy | 19 andra recensioner | Sep 8, 2020 |



Du skulle kanske också gilla

Associerade författare


Även av

Tabeller & diagram