The Sandglass by Romesh Gunesekera

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Already hailed as “intricate and compelling” by the Times Literary Supplement, The Sandglass is a striking novel by Sri Lankan author Romesh Gunesekera, a 1994 Booker Prize finalist for his first novel, Reef.

Set in London where the Sri Lankan narrator lives, The Sandglass tells the story of two feuding families whose lives are interlinked by the changing fortunes of postcolonial Sri Lanka. In a beautifully constructed work that moves back and forth between two physical and temporal poles, Gunesekera brings to life Prins Ducal and his search for answers about his family’s past in Sri Lanka, including his father’s rise to wealth, rivalry with the Vatunas family, and a suspect death—a mystery that further unfolds upon Prins’s arrival in London for his mother’s funeral.

Weaving together themes of memory, exile, and postcolonial upheaval, Gunesekera has written a book Marie Claire calls “utterly engaging. . . . Romantic, mysterious, and laced with a sense of yearning. . . . A heady mix of 1990s London and postwar Sri Lanka.”


About Romesh Gunesekera

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RomeshGunesekera is the author of four novels: Reef, which was shortlisted forboth the Booker Prize and the Guardian Fiction Prize, The Sandglass,winner of the inaugural BBC AsiaAward, Heaven's Edge, shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers Prize and aNew York Times Notable Book, and The Match. He has also writtentwo collections of short stories: his acclaimed debut Monkfish Moon anda bilingual limited edition book O Colleccionador de Especiarias. He grewup in Sri Lankaand the Philippinesand now lives in London.He first visited Mauritiusin 1998 where he discovered the beginnings of this novel.
Published September 16, 2014 by The New Press. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Jason turned out to be an astute businessman, but when he bought his dream house—next to the Vatunas family’s compound—the Ducal family’s troubles began: Esra, the Vatunas patriarch, conspired to undercut a business venture of Jason’s and was probably responsible for his murder in 1956;

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Publishers Weekly

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Piecing together diaries and anecdotes, narrator Chip, a Sri Lankan expatriate in London, ruminates on the sorrowful story of his friends Pearl and Jason Ducal and their adult son, Prins, whose lives have been marred at every turn by the malign influences of their Colombo neighbors, the Vatunases...

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Entertainment Weekly

With the same dreamlike, subdued, sinister voice that won him a Booker Prize nomination for his 1994 novel Reef, Romesh Gunesekera travels between 1950s Sri Lanka and present-day London, tracing the intertwined lives of two rival families, the Ducals and the Vatunas, through their rising and...

Oct 23 1998 | Read Full Review of The Sandglass

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