Funny Boy


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Author : Shyam Selvadurai

9780140250046 | PB | pp. 315| 1994 | Penguin Books

Funny Boy is a coming-of-age and deeply moving novel by Sri-Lankan Canadian author, Shyam Selvadurai.

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Set in the beautiful island country of Sri Lanka, Funny Boy is constructed in the form of six poignant stories about a little boy coming to age within an affluent Tamil family in Colombo. It follows the story of Arjie Chelvaratnam, a 7-year-old boy, who loves dressing up in a sari and playing bride-bride with his girl cousin to cricket. When his parents find him indulging in this innocent fun, he is compelled to abandon his childhood games and adopt the rigid rules of the adult world. In the meanwhile, there is a civil war brewing in the north of Sri Lanka between the Buddhist Sinhala majority and Hindu Tamil minority, which gradually begins to encroach on the family’s comfortable life. Written in a simple and engaging style, Shyam Selvadurai’s first novel will make for an intriguing and riveting read.

Shyam Selvadurai




Penguin Books





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About the Author

Shyam Selvadurai is a Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist best-known for writing Funny Boy, which won the Books in Canada First Novel Award. He was born in Colombo to a Sinhalese mother and a Tamil father. The ethnic riots in 1983 drove the family to migrate to Canada when Selvadurai was nineteen. His other important works include Cinnamon Gardens, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea, and The Hungry Ghosts.


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