Terror and Reconciliation

Terror and Reconciliation : Sri Lankan Anglophone Literature, 1983-2009

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Terror and Reconciliation examines the response of Sri Lankan novelists, short story writers, and poets to the issues of terrorism, war, human rights, linguistic discrimination, and interethnic dialogue raised by the quarter-century long ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and argues that their work demonstrates the potential of literature to contribute to reconciliation. This study will be of particular interest to scholars of South Asian Literature and Culture, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, and Peace Studies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 194 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073916578X
  • 9780739165782

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Sri Lankan Anglophone Literature and the Problem of Publication Part I: Island Dialogues Chapter 2: Mourning Terror: Memorials to the Conflict in Poetry and Film Chapter 3: Talking with the Enemy: Dialogue and Empathy in Fiction Part II: Diasporic Interventions Chapter 4: Interpreting the Conflict: Historiography and Sri Lankan Fiction Chapter 5: Diasporic Differences: The Sri Lankan Conflict from a Distance Conclusion
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Review quote

Jayasuriya's work is a thought-provoking engagement with matters of violence and the violence of memory, as well as questions of literary forms of mourning and the shared precarity of lives in the midst of ethnic conflict. Through a close reading of a wide variety of Sri Lankan 'stay-at-home' and diasporic writers and varied historiographic positions, Jayasuriya's theoretically accomplished work demonstrates how 'the literature of conflict' might also offer ways of dealing with loss, a nation's scarred history and grief. Her attention to literary constructions of empathy, unsettlement and reconciliation in Arasanayagam, Ondaatje, Selvadurai, Vanderpoorten, Wijeratne and other writers make the work relevant not only to the specifics of Sri Lankan literature but also to any literature that negotiates trauma, ethnicide and cultural memory. There is a wealth of material here, neatly organized, and a sustained interrogation of literary form and theme which makes Terror and Reconciliation a necessary, and valuable, addition to reading lists for trauma studies, postcolonial studies and conflict writing studies. -- Pramod K. Nayar, University of Hyderabad, India, author of Writing Wrongs: The Cultural Construction of Human Rights in India (2012) Terror and Reconciliation is a comprehensive and probing study of Sri Lankan Anglophone literature; it represents an important contribution to the growing body of scholarship on post-1983 armed conflict(s) in Sri Lanka. What is unique about this book is that it gives prominence to long-neglected resident Sri Lankan writers, whose work is rarely circulated beyond South Asia. As such, Jayasuriya's work should be compulsory reading for all Sri Lankan studies scholars as well as specialists in the field of conflict studies. -- Nalin Jayasena, Miami University This informative book thus studies Sri Lankan novels and poetry in English of the war years up to 2009 as a literature which provides a space for reconciliation by cutting across ethnic boundaries. Quoting Nihal de Silva - "I feel strongly that the road to settling our problem is for people to interact, and that their humanity has to do the rest" (90) - Jayasuriya argues that Sri Lankan identity and Sri Lankan literature must now be framed in different terms (158). She concludes by praising these writers for providing grounds for optimism, which, it is to be hoped, Sri Lankan anglophone literature after this period will go on to explore. Journal of Postcolonial Writing
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About Maryse Jayasuriya

Maryse Jayasuriya is assistant professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso. She has published essays on South Asian literature in the South Asian Review, Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing, and the edited collection South Asia and Its Others: Reading the "Exotic." She is an executive board member of the South Asian Literary Association and the editor of the South Asian Literary Association Newsletter. Her Ph.D. in postcolonial literature and theory is from Purdue University, and she is also a proud alumna of Mount Holyoke College.
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