Monday, July 9, 2012

Homesick-Roshi Fernando


Roshi Fernando

Knopf, Jul 17 2012, $24.95

ISBN: 9780307958105

In London on December 31 1982, Victor and Nandini host a New Year’s Eve party attended by fellow Sri Lankan immigrants and their offspring as all share in common a feeling of no belonging and a desire to belong in “Homecoming.” Their daughter Preethi starts nursery school while waiting for Archee her Soup Dragon grandma in the “Clangers.” Her brothers especially Gehan blames Preethi for them not going back to Sri Lanka on a visit as they save money to send her to a private school in “Love Me Tender.” Years later seventeen year old Preethi is in love with Ollie like all the girls her age in "Sophocles' Chorus. As her marriage teeters Preethi's husband is downsized in "Meta General." Finally Preethi worries about her Mum “At the Funeral” of her aunt. The stories are entertaining and enlightening as the audience meets Preethi the prime star and others in her circle like her nasty cousin Kumar in “The Fluorescent Jacket.” Fans will appreciate this strong series of interrelated vignettes that provide a deep look at the Sri Lankan culture especially in England though at times in the Homeland too; yet also serves universally for any displaced (volunteer or forced) person who becomes a Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert A. Heinlein) after leaving a Homeland.

Harriet Klausner

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