Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
(Harvest Book)

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Synopsis

An evocative coming-of-age novel about growing up gay in Sri Lanka during the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict—one of the country’s most turbulent and deadly periods.

Arjie is “funny.”

The second son of a privileged family in Sri Lanka, he prefers staging make-believe wedding pageants with his female cousins to battling balls with the other boys. When his parents discover his innocent pastime, Arjie is forced to abandon his idyllic childhood games and adopt the rigid rules of an adult world. Bewildered by his incipient sexual awakening, mortified by the bloody Tamil-Sinhalese conflicts that threaten to tear apart his homeland, Arjie painfully grows toward manhood and an understanding of his own “different” identity.

Refreshing, raw, and poignant, Funny Boy is an exquisitely written, compassionate tale of a boy’s coming-of-age that quietly confounds expectations of love, family, and country as it delivers the powerful message of staying true to one’s self no matter the obstacles.

 

About Shyam Selvadurai

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Shyam Selvadurai was born in 1965 in Sri Lanka. Funny Boy, his first novel, was published in 1994. It won the prestigious Lambda Literary Award and was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association. Cinnamon Gardens, his second novel, was published in 1998 and was shortlisted for the Trillium Award.
 
Published July 14, 2015 by William Morrow. 320 pages
Genres: Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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and eventually his experiences at a Dickensian boarding school (which, Arjie's father had proclaimed, ``will force you to become a man''), where he discovers both sex and the courage to defy the abuses practiced by those who wield arbitrary power (``How was it that some people got to decide what ...

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Publishers Weekly

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A poignant... deep, wistful novel of growing up gay in Sri Lanka, wrote PW. (June)

Jun 16 1997 | Read Full Review of Funny Boy (Harvest Book)

Publishers Weekly

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But when Arjun enters his teens, his worried father, a wealthy hotelier, sends him to a strict private academy, hoping it will force his son ``to become a man.'' Instead, Arjun, rebelling against a sadistic principal, strikes up an intense friendship with a fellow renegade pupil, Shehan, who is r...

| Read Full Review of Funny Boy (Harvest Book)

Publishers Weekly

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A poignant... deep, wistful novel of growing up gay in Sri Lanka, wrote PW. (June)

Jun 16 1997 | Read Full Review of Funny Boy (Harvest Book)

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