The Beach at Galle Road by Joanna Luloff
Stories

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Synopsis

When rumors of civil war between the ruling Sinhalese and the Tamils in the northern sector of Sri Lanka reach those who live in the south, somehow it seems not to be happening in their own country. At least not until Janaki’s sister, Lakshmi—now a refugee whose husband, a Tamil, has disappeared—comes back to live with her family. And when Sam, an American Peace Corps worker who boards with Janaki’s family, falls in love with one of his students, a young girl from the north, he, too, becomes acutely aware of the dangers that exist for any- one who gets drawn into the conflict, however marginally.

Skillfully weaving together the stories of these and other intersecting lives, The Beach at Galle Road explores themes of memory and identity amid the consequences of the Sri Lankan civil war. From different points of view, across generations and geographies, it pits the destructive power of war against the resilient power of family, individual will, and the act of storytelling itself.
 

About Joanna Luloff

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Joanna Luloff received her MFA from Emerson College and is completing a PhD at the University of Missouri. She worked as Peace Corps volunteer in Sri Lanka from 1996 to 1998. Her stories have appeared in the Missouri Review, Confrontation, Memorious, and New South.
 
Published October 2, 2012 by Algonquin Books. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Beach at Galle Road

Kirkus Reviews

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Peace Corps volunteer Sam, a boarder in Janaki’s home, falls in love with a student from the north and insists on staying in the country even though his visiting parents pressure him to leave.

Sep 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Beach at Galle Road: Stories

Publishers Weekly

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The long-term civil war in northern Sri Lanka rages between the Tamils and the Sinhalese in Luloff's debut collection of interwoven stories.

Aug 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Beach at Galle Road: Stories

Examiner

While her Western characters struggle to make themselves at home in an alien culture, her Sri Lankan characters bravely try to hold on to their physical homes that are being destroyed by the ravages of war.

Jan 19 2013 | Read Full Review of The Beach at Galle Road: Stories

PopMatters

We see brief flashes, as in “Up North”, of true violence, but mostly the war creeps in through second-hand stories, through news reports, through rumor, through people gone missing both in the middle of these stories and on the periphery.

Nov 27 2012 | Read Full Review of The Beach at Galle Road: Stories

Historical Novel Society

Each story either refers back to another story or puts center stage a character that had previously played a minor role.

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Fiction Writers Review

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Dec 18 2012 | Read Full Review of The Beach at Galle Road: Stories

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Dec 04 2012 | Read Full Review of The Beach at Galle Road: Stories

Fiction Writers Review

The author lived and worked in Sri Lanka as a Peace Corps volunteer in the late nineties.

Dec 04 2012 | Read Full Review of The Beach at Galle Road: Stories

Fiction Writers Review

Joanna Luloff’s debut collection, The Beach at Galle Road (Algonquin), meticulously avoids the fighting in its depiction of wartime Sri Lanka.

Nov 29 2012 | Read Full Review of The Beach at Galle Road: Stories

Reader Rating for The Beach at Galle Road
69%

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