Magazine article New Internationalist

The Story of a Brief Marriage

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Story of a Brief Marriage

Article excerpt

The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam (Granta, ISBN 9781783782376)

This striking debut novel is set during the blood-drenched last days of the Sri Lankan civil war. In a civilian enclave trapped between the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tigers is Dinesh, a helper in a field hospital tending to the wounded casualties of the indiscriminate bombing by both sides. In defence against the daily horror of the death and destruction surrounding him, Dinesh has retreated into himself, feeling little emotion and barely eating or sleeping. He is jolted out of his protective numbness when he is approached by an older man who asks him to marry his daughter, Ganga, in a desperate attempt to afford her some protection against the marauding soldiers. Expecting imminent death and seeing little point to any of his actions, Dinesh agrees and slowly, tentatively, he and Ganga embark on establishing human contact in the bowels of hell. …

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