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This Divided Island Stories from the Sri Lankan War by Samanth Subramanian
  

This Divided Island Stories from the Sri Lankan War

Biography / Autobiography   The Real World   All Shortlists and Winners   

RRP £14.99

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Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015.

The vivid and haunting story of Sri Lanka and its brutal thirty-year civil war, from one of India's best new writers. Through travels and conversations, he examines how people reconcile themselves to violence, how religion and state conspire, how the powerful become cruel, and how victory can be put to the task of reshaping memory and burying histories. This Divided Island is a harrowing and humane investigation of a country still inflamed.

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Synopsis

This Divided Island Stories from the Sri Lankan War by Samanth Subramanian

In the summer of 2009, the leader of the dreaded Tamil Tiger guerrillas was killed, bringing to a bloody end the stubborn and complicated civil war in Sri Lanka. For nearly thirty years, the war's fingers had reached everywhere: into the bustle of Colombo, the Buddhist monasteries scattered across the island, the soft hills of central Sri Lanka, the curves of the eastern coast near Batticaloa and Trincomalee, and the stark, hot north. With its genius for brutality, the war left few places, and fewer people, untouched. What happens to the texture of life in a country that endures such bitter conflict? What happens to the country's soul? Samanth Subramanian gives us an extraordinary account of the Sri Lankan war and the lives it changed. Taking us to the ghosts of summers past, and to other battles from other times, he draws out the story of Sri Lanka today - an exhausted, disturbed society, still hot from the embers of the war.

Reviews

'Brutal majoritarians and ruthless insurgents have long monopolised our sense of Sri Lanka. Samanth Subramanian's sensitive account makes us aware of a missing human dimension. Exploring a war-ravaged landscape, he is bracingly alert to the role of ambiguity as well as ideology in human affairs. In This Divided Island, one of our finest young writers of non-fiction reveals the complicated lives lived in their shadow.' -- Pankaj Mishra

'With the humility of a truly gifted writer, Samanth Subramanian sets out, not to find firm answers to the reasons behind Sri Lanka's civil war, but rather to be changed and opened up by his journey through this war-ravaged land. His journey becomes ours. The things he discovers, the people he meets, haunt us long after we have closed the pages of this sensitive, poignant book.' -- Shyam Selvadurai

About the Author

Samanth Subramanian studied journalism at Pennsylvania State University and international relations at Columbia University. He has written for, among other publications, the Guardian, the New Yorker, the New York Times, Mint, the Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign Policy, New Republic, Foreign Affairs, The National and The Hindu. His first book, Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast, was published by Atlantic Books.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th February 2015

Author

Samanth Subramanian

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    recommendations

Publisher

Atlantic Books

Format

Paperback
336 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
The Real World
All Shortlists and Winners

Military history: post WW2 conflicts
Asian history
Reportage & collected journalism

ISBN

9780857895950

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