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Richly rewarding . . . this is a novel that deserves, and will surely gain, a wide readership' Adam Lively, Sunday Times

In Shyam Selvadurai's masterful second novel, set in repressive and complex 1920s Ceylon, the Cinnamon Gardens is a residential enclave of wealthy Ceylonese. Among them is Annalukshmi, an independent and high-spirited young teacher intent on thwarting her parents' plans to arrange her marriage. In a parallel narrative, her uncle, Balendran Navaratnam, respectably married but secretly homosexual, has his life disrupted by the arrival in Ceylon of Richard, a lover from long ago.

'Richly rewarding . . . this is, in many ways, an old-fashioned novel, brimming with old-fashioned virtues. The characters and setting are established in a measured, finely judged manner, allowing us to feel at home with them. Annalukshmi's Jane Austen-ish domestic life -- anxious mother, bossy aunt, catty sisters, endless talk of prospective husbands -- is brought to life with glancing humour. Not least of the novel's virtues is the way he seems to conjure up a whole social panorama. With its vivid evocation of time and place, its wise characterisation, its involving emotional dramas, this is a novel that deserves, and will surely gain, a wide readership' Adam Lively, Sunday Times

'Subtle and deeply humane . . . a fine novel that is both delicately written and very, very wise . . . Selvadurai has established himself firmly as an important chronicler of the complexities of social and cultural difference' Books in Canada

Reviews

'Selvadurai has captured horrifyingly well the airlessness of a society in which only a few are truly able to breathe, and deeply' Mary Loudon, The Times

'Richly rewarding...Not least of the novel's virtues is the way he seems to conjure up a whole social panorama. With its vivid evocation of time and place, its wise characterisation, its involving emotional dramas, this is a novel that deserves, and will surely gain, a wide readership' Adam Lively, Sunday Times

'Subtle and deeply humane...a fine novel that is both delicately written and very, very wise...Selvadurai has established himself firmly as an important chronicler of the complexities of social and cultural difference' Books in Canada

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Formats & editions

  • Cinnamon Gardens
    Shyam Selvadurai

    EBook

    9781409010937

    December 1, 2010

    Transworld Digital

    400 pages

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