Magazine article New Internationalist

Funny Boy

Magazine article New Internationalist

Funny Boy

Article excerpt

This is an engaging book by a young Sri Lankan author now living in Toronto. Shyam Selvadurai offers us a set of simply-crafted stories portraying the coming-of-age of Arjie Chelvaratnam, a sensitive boy growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Tamil family in Colombo from the late 1960s to the 1983 riots. The escalating political tensions on the island impinge upon the personal turbulence of the boy as he struggles with his sexuality, authority structures, and his relationship with his family. The author does not set out to put a 'human face' on the everyday victims of the conflict, but that is what his stories do.

Funny Boy has no particular political axe to grind. Ethnic tensions weave through the lives of the characters in this book the same way as they weave through the lives of those who live on the island. …

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