Enthralling English fiction
I love to read fiction in English by Lankan writers who reside in the
country than those born here and made their homes abroad. Really such
writers write to enrich the literatures of the countries they have
settled in rather than Lankan English Literature.
But those living in our country write better fiction and creative use
of language than the other lot. This is my humble opinion. Academic
critics from Lanka and abroad might not agree since they donâ€™t read our
During the last decade some fantastic writing in English both in
prose and poetry had been created by those writers living in this
country. I have read and reviewed most of their recent books, but those
who write about Lankan English Writing do not seem to have even noticed
these pieces even as to gather information on the writers spotlighted.
Take for instance unpublicized W.A. Wijewardena. I love the style and
content of his book My Little Princess published by Sarasavi Publishers
of 30 Stanley Thilakaratne Mawatha, Nugegoda.
In this book of 266 pages the writer encompasses six stories of
varied lengths, some extending to more than 50 pages, and call them
short stories. I would prefer to categorize them as short fiction than
short story proper. But that is a matter of judgement. Sure.
Another Lankan stylist in English, I admire, is Carlo Fonseka. Says
he: â€śThese stories are throbbing with life and held my interest and
Some of them have the flower of Jataka stories in the searing
exploration of impulsive human behaviourâ€ť.
While admitting that I am not thorough with the Jataka stories, I
must say that I also felt that in this book I was really reading as well
classical Thamil literary archetypal matrixes in English written by a
Lankan writer. This is particularly so in the use of images and
description. The fluid style of English by an Economist is something
that is envious.
Apart from that the themes are extraordinarily psychological and
spiritual that shows a mature mind rooted in eastern tradition and
adoption of western methods of seeking the truth.
I lived and relived the experiences narrated by the writer to my
aesthetic relish. Perhaps I am too exuberant in expressing my felt
experience, but if you read his fiction you would agree with me to a
I have never met this writer nor read him before. From the blurb of
the book we learn that â€śHis favourite pastime has been the exploration
of the new frontiers in economics, especially the marriage between
economics and contemporary social issues.â€ť In recent times economists
writing fiction in English- Nimal Sanderatne is one such writer.
The stories in this collection have inter-connected themes at
deferent layers and should be studied that way, but if I were to reduce
the main story line or plotline, I would summarise as follows:
My Little Princess (male teacher-female student relationship),
The Poet and the Princess (Islamic setting of true love between a
blind, commoner poet and a lovely princess),
Four Parallel Lines (Marital Relationship with class differences),
The Bachelor and the Maid Man (Illicit sex relationships between
The Charcoal Hunter (Youth and carnal pleasures),
The Longer and the Undemanding Companion (Ironical relationships).
All the stories have psychological flavour which I enjoy very much.
Almost all the stories have erotic element that is not phonographic.
Please read his stories yourself to enjoy without any reconceived
There are several lyrical passages in the whole book.
I cannot give them all due to exigencies of space.
One other thing: As I am a film buff, the visual images I conjured in
my mind have potential cinematic elements which could be created or
translated into aesthetic, psychological and social films.
Some of our new filmmakers in Sinhala or even the veteran English
writer and filmmaker Tissa Abeysekera could consider this proposition.