20 June 2015

On Sal Mal Lane; Ru Freeman

On Sal Mal LaneOn Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading this just as the Charleston shootings happened was interesting: Sal Mal Lane is a mixed race (Sinhala and Tamil, with some Burghers) enclave that devolves as the situation in Sri Lanka worsens. At first there are class differences, based on education and wealth. But by the end, it's religion and race that are the issue, and the anti-Tamil pogrom that finally breaks the community. Because this is told mostly through the eyes of the children, there is both questioning (why is this happening? what exactly is happening?) and unconscious mimicking of the adults' attitudes. This makes a great companion read to Island of a Thousand Mirrors or just an introduction to the Tamil/Sinhala/Sri Lankan Civil War.

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