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When Memory Dies

On sale

1st August 2013

Price: £9.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781905147595

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“Haunting, with an immense tenderness . . . Unforgettable” JOHN BERGER

“I’m recommending When Memory Dies to everyone” ARTHUR C. CLARKE

“Profoundly moving” Evening Standard

“A brilliant and moving first novel” Times Literary Supplement

A powerful three-generational saga of a Sri Lankan family’s search for coherence and continuity in a country broken by colonial occupation and riven by ethnic wars.

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.

**Winner of the Sagittarius Prize **Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize**


David Rose, Observer
This rich novel, peopled with unforgettable heroines and heroes, will haunt the reader's mind
John Berger, Guardian
Haunting, with an immense tenderness. The extraordinary poetic tact of this book makes it unforgettable
Literary Review
There is no rallying cry here, no dwelling on the tragedies of the individual, only an exhortation to memory and constant effort. Sivanandan's sensibilities and instincts are endlessly humane, generous and perceptive
Evening Standard
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'
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'
Times Literary Supplement
A brilliant and moving first novel. With a grandeur reminiscent of the great Indonesian novelist, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Sivanandan takes the reader through three generations of a Sri Lankan family. As we move from the days of the hartal in 1920 through independence in 1948 to the neo-liberal pangs of the 1980s, Sri Lankan communalism gathers force like a conquering flood
Athol Fugard
An extraordinary storyteller who has total control over his material
Kate Chisholm, Sunday Telegraph
Sivanandan's theme - the baneful in£uence of colonialism - is highly political, but he writes with such humanity that what could be dry fact and ideology is transformed into a gripping and inspiring action
Arthur C. Clarke
I'm recommending When Memory Dies to everyone