Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews
…’Are you Sri Lankan?’ the lady asks.
‘One hundred per cent Sinhala Buddhist,’ Janith says.
‘You don’t have to be Sinhalese to be Sri Lankan.’
‘But you have to be a Sri Lankan to be Sinhalese,’ he says, without knowing what he means. ‘Why do you ask?’
The lady smiles. ‘It’s just that, Sri Lankans normally ask more personal questions…’
And trust me, Chhimi Tenduf-La knows all that there is to know about Sri Lanka; its idiosyncrasies, its tenacity, its alluring charm and its signature head-nodding smile. His latest book, Loyal Stalkers, is seeped in the essence of the Emerald Isle. Woven together, are fifteen dark, witty, heart-wrenching and contemplative tales of love, manipulation, greed and compassion. A seventeen year old rape victim, a smuggler, a self proclaimed prophet, a cheeky tuk-tuk driver, along with an over-enthusiastic gym instructor, skittish cricket aspirants and an impetuous security guard, and a not to forget a rescued dog(AIYO!), are the main protagonists of Chhimi Tenduf- La’s latest anthology. They all have their own stories, but masterfully, Chhimi links them together.
Yet again, he proves that he can write about Sri Lanka, without being Sri Lankan( he has spent many years here and has an outsider-insider view of this unique nation). The stories are quintessentially Sri Lankan and having lived in Sri Lanka since 2000, I totally get them. And don’t worry if you don’t know anything about the country. The stories are full-on entertainment and well worth the time spent( in my case a little over 3 hours and I was done!)
The Amazing Racist and Panther were highly recommended by us; for their authenticity, their pace, the deft writing and their lovable characters. The protagonists of Loyal Stalkers also connect and can easily be the people next-door or those you cross path with while roaming the streets of Colombo.
The stories are feisty and come alive as the pages turn. This one is an all-nighter; once you start, you just can’t stop. In the end, all the pieces of the puzzle fit in.