Sunday, 31 January 2010

My Thoughts: Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai

Having sat on mount tbr for a good six months this ovel had to come top of the pile for my reads for the GLBT challenge.
Set in Sri Lanka this coming of age novel tells Anjie's story. At seven he loves playing with the girls, always the lead role in Bride-Bride their fantasy game. He loves dressing up in Saris and being made much of, until the da that he is revealed to the adults in all his glory. His father quickly blames his mother and declares if he turns out a 'funny boy' it will be all her doing.

We then follow Anjie through his childhood, much of which is dominated by the Tamil/Sinhalese conflicts. He watches family friends torn from lovers, beaten for their race, and the riots spill out. He also faces being Tamil, in school and at home, but only speaking Sinhalese as his parents desperately try to give their children a chance to make something of themselves in this country of seperation.
The politics and his identity, both sexual and social and mingled side by side in the novel which deals with serious issues but is a great read. As Anjie grows older the tone of the novel becomes more serious as he begins to understand the world around him.
I'll certainly be checking out more of Selvadurai's novels in the future.

GLBT: The Challenge the Dare Not Speak its Name
Twenty Ten (Who are you, again?)

Other reviews:
Book Nook

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This sounds like I need to add it to the tbr abyss. I've gotten really interested in Sri Lanka since I read Monkfish Moon for the South Asian Author Challenge.