novels for a trip to Sri Lanka
June 22, 2009 5:58 PM   Subscribe

What are some good books (novels, preferably, but willing to look into really excellent non-fiction) to get in the mood for my trip to Sri Lanka in August?
posted by monkeygenius to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje
posted by meerkatty at 6:05 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

another Ondaatje suggestion (i'm sure the thread will be full of them!): Anil's Ghost. my favourite Ondaatje book of all time.
posted by gursky at 6:11 PM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Monkfish Moon by Romesh Gunesekera.
posted by meerkatty at 6:14 PM on June 22, 2009

Arthur C. Clarke's 1979 novel The Fountains of Paradise is set in a fictional island country that he described as "about 90% congruent with the island of Ceylon [Sri Lanka]" (where, of course, he lived from 1956 until his death last year). Plus, space elevator!
posted by mayhap at 6:23 PM on June 22, 2009

Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
posted by backwards guitar at 6:24 PM on June 22, 2009

nthing Ondaatje: Anil's Ghost.
posted by furtive at 7:40 PM on June 22, 2009

I enjoyed Reef by Romesh Gunesekera, it is not very long so factor that in...
posted by Rumple at 7:49 PM on June 22, 2009

Definitely, definitely Running in the Family. It's one of my most favorite books ever.
posted by kitcat at 7:49 PM on June 22, 2009

I just got back from there. =) So hard to leave!

For something a little different, try the Mahavamsa and the Culavamsa, which are mytho-historical accounts of Sri Lanka's ancient past.
posted by sid at 2:28 AM on June 23, 2009

Leonard Woolf's The Village in the Jungle is a classic novel set in colonial Ceylon that was first published in 1912. It's rare for its time in that it's told from the point of view of the colonized. (Woolf is perhaps better known for his spouse, Virginia Woolf.)
posted by Shoggoth at 6:12 AM on June 23, 2009

Whoops. Make that 1913.
posted by Shoggoth at 6:14 AM on June 23, 2009

Blindness: Jose Saramago
posted by bone machine at 11:46 AM on June 23, 2009

One more vote for Anil's Ghost.
posted by kaspen at 5:35 PM on June 23, 2009

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