The Match by Romesh Gunesekera

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Synopsis

As a teenager from Sri Lanka, Sunny is living the typical life of an expatriate in 1970s Manila—a privileged, carefree existence—until one day when the secret behind his mother’s tragic death years earlier is accidentally revealed to him, turning Sunny’s world upside down. His life takes a series of unexpected turns—first in England, where he falls in love with the luminous Clara, and later in Sri Lanka, where he returns during a brief lull in the country’s brutal ethnic war.

Reminiscent of V.S. Naipaul in his nuanced treatment of the melancholy of exile, Gunesekera takes the reader on an utterly absorbing journey across the late twentieth-century postcolonial world. Spanning three continents and thirty years, The Match is a “beautiful and atmospheric” (Irish Times) exploration of the nature of loss and displacement, the search for identity and love, and the possibility, in the end, of redemption and renewal.


 

About Romesh Gunesekera

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Romesh Gunesekera is the author of Monkfish Moon, Reef, The Sandglass, The Match, and Noontide Toll (all published by The New Press). He grew up in Sri Lanka and the Philippines and now lives in London.
 
Published January 1, 2006 by Bloomsbury. 307 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Match

Kirkus Reviews

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The final cricket match Sunny witnesses becomes an epiphany, for he is graced with a circumscribed but nevertheless momentous realization that “things could be renewed,” and that he can use words to “bring peace to his own mind if not to the world.” The latest from Gunesekera (Heaven’s Edge, 2003...

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The New York Times

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‘You will be here?’ ‘Oh?’ ” Sunny replies — “careful to reserve his rights, one syllable at a time.”) The cricket match itself is slapstick fun, even for readers who stumble over its jargon: “Got up to 30 before he was lbw’d.” The match is the high point of Sunny’s life, at least in retrospect.

Mar 09 2008 | Read Full Review of The Match

The Guardian

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The Match by Romesh Gunesekera Bloomsbury £14.99, pp320 The slow burn of anomie infects the soul of Sunny Fernando, a baffled, silent drifter in the stream of his own life.

Apr 02 2006 | Read Full Review of The Match

The Guardian

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The Match by Romesh Gunesekera (320pp, Bloomsbury) Two cricket matches bookend Romesh Gunesekera's new novel.

Mar 11 2006 | Read Full Review of The Match

Publishers Weekly

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Throughout the novel, Gunesekara offers up rich characters, including Sunny's father's best friend Hector, an amiable, patient man who acts as a fairy godfather to Sunny.

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India Today

In the 1971 Manila expats' match at the start, teenaged Sunny tries to impress Tina and smashes his ball into her father's Mercedes.

May 08 2006 | Read Full Review of The Match

Spectator Book Club

I don’t know if it is still there, but in the museum at Lord’s there used to be a glass case containing a stuffed sparrow killed in mid-flight by Jahangir Khan.

Apr 01 2006 | Read Full Review of The Match

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