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The Buddha taught that to live is to experience suffering. Few family sagas, especially first ones, have captured this aspect of suffering and so many other truths in as lyric a fashion as "When Memory Dies". Through the viewpoints of three generations of a Sri Lankan family (taking the reader from 1920 through the 1980s), Sivanandan explores a culture destroyed first by colonization, then through the ethnic divisions that are released when the country achieves independence. The family, which lives at a level of poverty that makes survival a constant struggle, must also balance love for one another with a deep love of their homeland. Without bending to romanticism or proselytization, the author evokes a compelling and very human story of a lost country. It is a vision as beautifully told as it is unrelenting in its devotion to truth. In the process, the work also supplies a rich historic background to the often underreported news accounts of the massacres and upheavals in Sri Lanka.
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"Haunting, with an immense tenderness. The extraordinary poetic tact of this book makes it unforgettable." - John Berger, Guardian"A brilliant and moving first novel" - Times Literary Supplement"This rich novel, peopled with unforgettable heroines and heroes, will haunt the reader's mind - David Rose, ObserverAbout the Author:
A. Sivanandan came to Britain from Ceylon in the wake of the race riots of 1958 - and walked straight into the riots of Notting Hill. Since then he has written and lectured extensively on Black and Third World issues. He is the founder editor of the journal Race & Class and director of the Institute of Race Relations in London. When Memory Dies, his first novel (1997), was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and won the Sagittarius Prize.
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