Nominated by:

Wojewódzka Biblioteka Publiczna im. Marszalka Józefa Pilsudskiego, Lódz, Poland

Publisher of nominated edition:

Graywolf Press, USA

On Sal Mal Lane

Ru Freeman      

2015 Longlist

On the day the Herath family moves in, Sal Mal Lane is still a quiet street, disturbed only by the cries of the children whose triumphs and tragedies sustain the families that live there. As the neighbors adapt to the newcomers in different ways, the children fill their days with cricket matches, romantic crushes, and small rivalries. But the tremors of civil war are mounting, and the conflict threatens to engulf them all. In a heart-rending novel poised between the past and the future, the innocence of the children—a beloved sister and her over-protective siblings, a rejected son and his twin sisters, two very different brothers—contrasts sharply with the petty prejudices of the adults charged with their care. In Ru Freeman’s masterful hands, On Sal Mal Lane, a story of what was lost to a country and her people, becomes a resounding cry for reconciliation.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Ru Freeman is the author of A Disobedient Girl. She is an activist and journalist whose work appears internationally. She calls both Sri Lanka and America home.

Librarian’s Comments

A story about children forced to enter a world that has lost its way, about the tragedy of civil war. About a society that lives in a small street where an incomprehensible for many diversity of culture, tradition and religion crosses. An image of brotherhood, innocence and the special way children perceive reality. A meditation on childhood, family, fear and innocence, affection and ill fate.

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