Sri Lankan born British Author Romesh Gunesekera releases another book “Noontide Toll”
By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor - Foreign Exchange The Diplomatic Society
One of South Asia’s most outstanding authors, Romesh Gunesekera has risen to prominence on the international scene by releasing his recent book ‘Noontide Toll’ that draws an extraordinary portrait of post-war Sri Lanka grappling with its troubled past.
The award winning British author with a Sri Lankan background, in his latest novel, recounts a story of a van driver known as Vasantha, who after retirement begins transporting new entrepreneurs, charity workers and families around Sri Lanka. He begins to reveal and wonder if the past can be left behind and what the uncertain future might hold for him after the end of a three decade-long war. Gunesekera’s recent book ‘Noontide Toll’, published by Penguin Books of India in January 2014, is available in all major bookstores across the South Asian countries. The author’s new book will be published in the United Kingdom and internationally in July. The US edition of ‘ Noontide Toll’ will be released in September.
The veteran author’s first book, ‘Monkfish Moon’, is a collection of stories that provide a narrative of the political upheaval in Sri Lanka. The ‘Monkfish Moon’ was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His first novel, ‘Reef’, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994. In the novel ‘Reef’, the world renowned author refers to two specific instances of political unrest of 1971 and the turmoil in 1983. In 'Reef', Gunesekera refers to the events of 1971, which act as a catalyst of a Sri Lankan cook, Triton, and his master, Mister Salgado to flee to England. He has published many books, including 'The Sandglass' (1998), 'Heaven’s Edge' (2002), 'The Match' (2006) and 'The Prisoner of Paradise' (2012).
He has won many of the world's top literary prizes, including the prestigious Italian literary prize, the Premio Mondello Five Continents Asia Prize for Reef in 1997, Winner of Yorkshire Post First Work Prize (Reef) in 1995, the Commonwealth Writer’s Regional Prize for Heaven’s Edge and the winner of the inaugural BBC Asia Award, for The Sandglass in 1998.
In addition to his writing he is a distinguished judge for a number of literary prizes including the Caine Prize for African Writing, the David Cohen Literature Prize, the Forward Prize for Poetry and most recently the Granta 2013 list of the Best of Young British Novelists
The award winning author has attended many workshops, several literary events and forums around the Globe. Jaipur Literary Festival of India, Confluences International Book Fair of Mauritius, Lauderdale House, London: Asian Literary Review Poetry Evening, Asia House Literary Festival of London are some of the major literary events he participated in in recent years.
He has been a tutor at Goldsmiths College and a Guest Director at the Cheltenham Festival. Gunesekera is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Asia House Festival of Asian Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.