Author(s): Romesh Gunesekera
Vasantha is a van driver for hire, ferrying aid workers, returning exiles, and tentative entrepreneurs across the battle-scarred landscapes of Sri Lanka. The civil war is finally over, but the traumas of the past are still haunting. Behind the facade of peace we are made to remember the war: mysterious hoteliers conceal scars under their collars; genial old soldiers are secretly identified as perpetrators of brutal crimes; young Sinhalese men pine after Tamil girls whose brothers died by their hands. Vasantha keeps his own counsel, lingering on the periphery of his passengers' stories, but as time goes on he reveals a little of his own story too. Perceptive, sombre and finely-tuned, Noontide Toll paints an extraordinary portrait of a post-war Sri Lanka grappling with the ghosts of its troubled past.
A deeply humane and darkly touching collection of interlinked stories set in Sri Lanka
ROMESH GUNESEKERA grew up in Sri Lanka and now lives in London. His debut novel Reef was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1994 and won the Yorkshire Post First Work Prize. In 1997 he was awarded the prestigious Premio Mondello award in Italy. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004. He is the author of numerous novels and short story collections, including Monkfish Moon and The Sandglass, both of which are published by Granta Books.