Minnette de Silva: Standing the test of time
Architects / The Caravan / Writers

Minnette de Silva: Standing the test of time

  …Pinto uses these moments to bring into sharp focus some of the factors that influenced Minnette’s trajectory. In 1948, she made history as the first Asian woman to become an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects and, in 1949, became the first Sri Lankan woman architect to start her own practice. While Minnette’s buildings would break new ground both … Continue reading

‘I am drawn to terrifying things’, says the novelist who feels squeamish seeing his name on his book
Scroll.In / Writers

‘I am drawn to terrifying things’, says the novelist who feels squeamish seeing his name on his book

Chhimi Tenduf-La was anxious about dengue even before the current epidemic in Sri Lanka reached its height this June. With 80,000 cases so far, and hospital wards overflowing, he felt his heart sink when his paediatrician reported they were turning away children simply for a lack of beds. Tenduf-La’s concern is overwhelmingly for his kids. … Continue reading

One Hundred Years of Solitude: Finding fact in fiction
Gabriel Garcia Marquez Cultural Journalism Fellowship / The Sunday Times / Travelers / Writers

One Hundred Years of Solitude: Finding fact in fiction

Have you heard the story about Gabriel García Márquez’s 80th birthday party? Gabo was famous by this time, his years as a poverty stricken journalist having given way to his career as Colombia’s most famous novelist. At 55, he had become the first of his countrymen to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. At 80, … Continue reading

Writing on poverty, celebrating resilience: Katherine Boo on Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Journalists / The Sunday Times / Writers

Writing on poverty, celebrating resilience: Katherine Boo on Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Let it keep, the moment when Katherine Boo found herself lying on the floor with a punctured lung and three broken ribs in a spreading pool of Diet Dr. Pepper. Rewind, see her tripping over the unabridged dictionary, her body breaking as it met the floor. Keep rewinding, back over a decade to the beginnings … Continue reading

Nayomi Munaweera: ‘I couldn’t have written those hard scenes if I’d had a natural child in my life’
Scroll.In / Writers

Nayomi Munaweera: ‘I couldn’t have written those hard scenes if I’d had a natural child in my life’

Though she had been to many book clubs since the publication of her novel What Lies Between Us, Nayomi Munaweera found her heart sinking when faced with the newest group. Sitting around in a circle, waiting to discuss her novel were nearly 50 women, all mothers with children who attended the local elementary school. She … Continue reading

Shyam Selvadurai, Jean Arasanayagam, Nayomi Munaweera: Writing the 1983 riots
Academics / Scroll.In / Writers

Shyam Selvadurai, Jean Arasanayagam, Nayomi Munaweera: Writing the 1983 riots

The ethnic riots of 1983 were not the first in Sri Lanka. Nor were they the last. But Black July was indisputably a seismic event in this country’s history. Its echoes are everywhere, but some of my most meaningful encounters with it have been through the island’s literature. From the warmth and innocence of Funny … Continue reading

Shehan Karunatilaka: What to expect from Shehan ‘Chinaman’ Karunatilaka’s new novel (hint: think ghosts)
Scroll.In / Writers

Shehan Karunatilaka: What to expect from Shehan ‘Chinaman’ Karunatilaka’s new novel (hint: think ghosts)

The sastra karaya could see a ghost standing behind Shehan Karunatilaka’s shoulder. He said the spirit was a woman, someone Karunatilaka had known and who was now his guardian. Now, in his airy living room in Colombo, Karunatilaka admits he didn’t sense anything himself, and that he was a little bit disappointed with the experience. … Continue reading