REVIEW: COMING HOME – The books of R. K. Narayan

 

KOOM KANKESAN

 

I discovered R. K. Narayan sometime in the mid nineties when I was in my early twenties. I couldn’t believe no one had turned me onto his books before that, was upset even. Our family could not return to Sri Lanka due to the war and though we had distant relatives here, I was cut off from our family. Missing were the indulgent grandparents and avuncular uncles and aunts necessary to round out the harsh and often demanding experience it is to grow up Tamil. Living in England and then Canada, I had read British, American, and Canadian novels. I vaguely realized I wished to be a writer but had no clue how to go about it. Not just get published, but write itself.

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“Tamil Tigress” Reviewed by Koom Kankesan

KOOM KANKESAN
Niromi de Soyza’s Tamil Tigress has been available for a year in Australia but was only recently imported to Canadian bookstores. It seems to have brought the anonymous author (Niromi de Soyza is a pen name, apparently constructed for the author’s protection) almost as much controversy as fame. The book starts off as a polemic against the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) but ends up as a document affirming Tamil women’s rights.

The memoir is about a year in de Soyza’s life when she and her best fried, Ajanthi, joined the Tigers during the second stage of the war – the mid 80′s when Tamils fought the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in the North and East of Sri Lanka. [Read more…]