Nominated by:

Colombo Public Library, Sri Lanka

Publisher of nominated edition:

Perara Hussein Publishing House, Sri Lanka

Island of a Thousand Mirrors

Nayomi Munaweera      

2014 Longlist

In Island of a Thousand Mirrors, Nayomi Munaweera writes with ferocity, fire and poetry of the incomprehensible madness of civil war and its effects upon those caught within it, whether in the villages and cities of Sri Lanka, or half a world away. A masterful, incendiary debut – Janet Fitch author of White Oleander.

A few months after the 1983 riots, a Sinhalese family leaves Sri Lanka for America. The two children, Yasodhara and Lanka adapt to their new life quickly, but memories of their childhood on a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean is seared into their soul. Meanwhile, Saraswathi lives in the middle of the war-torn country struggling to be a teenager in a land that is anything but normal.

This is a beguiling tale of three women swept up in the turbulence of an island’s history and whose fate is woven intricately together in war, migration, love, exile and belonging. Covering three quarters of a century of Sri Lanka’s past, this beautifully written novel combines harsh reality, love and tenderness with astonishing insight.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Nayomi Munaweera was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in Nigeria. She emigrated to the United States in her early teens. She lives in Oakland, California. Island of a Thousand Mirrors is her first novel.

Librarian’s Comments

Long-listed for the Man Asia Award and short-listed for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, Island of a Thousand Mirrors relates the story of two families and their experiences during the many decades of the brutal Sri Lankan Civil War, as told by the eldest daughter of each family.

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