Death of Anne Ranasinghe | Daily News

Death of Anne Ranasinghe

Internationally renowned poet Anne Ranasinghe passed away at her residence in Colombo.

Born on October 2, 1925 as Anneliese Katz in Essen, Germany and escaping from Nazi, Germany to England, she married Sri Lankan professor D.A.Ranasinghe and became a citizen of Sri Lanka in 1956. Her first collection of poems, And the Sun That Sucks The Earth to Dry, was published in 1971. Although primarily a poet, she also wrote short stories, essays, and translations.

Her works have been broadcast on radio and published in 17 countries and translated into nine languages.

Drawing from her own life experiences, her writing has been described as “vibrantly sensuous or stark and deeply moving.”

The Holocaust is a recurring theme in Anne Ranasinghe’s poetry and is contrasted with Sri Lanka’s violent past as in “July 1983.”

Themes of alienation and minority persecution are found in many of her poems. Anne Ranasinghe has won numerous local and international awards for her writing including the Sri Lanka Arts Council Prize for Poetry 1985 and 1992 and non-fiction in 1987. In 1994, she won the Sri Lanka Literary Award for best collection of short stories.

She is a founding member of the English Writers’ Cooperative of Sri Lanka and regular editor of its journal, Channels.

Her name has been included in the Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry (Oxford & New York: Oxford, 1994).

The Library of Congress has seven works by her.


 

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I met Anne in 1970 as chair of our group of aspiring writters SHAMA, of which Punyakante Wijenaike and many others were members too. Throughout the years of our contact - sometimes agreeing, sometimes not, always interesting - we exchanged some of our texts, or just had a cup of tea when I happened to be back in Colombo. Her background as the single member of her Jewish family to have escaped Ravensbrück, coloured her whole life, witness her impressive efforts for Amnesty International and other organisations promoting international peace and understanding. That at the end of her life, Anne was awarded not only an Order in the Sri Lanka Honours, but also the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, was a just recognition of her work. Anne has gone! It was in the nature of things, yet it feels very bad indeed.

Sheds so much light to the civil disturbances of that time.She gave me great insight on the general fear and anxiety that enveloped the peace and tranquility of society in general.

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