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The Story of a Brief Marriage

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize

“Brave…Brilliant…This is a book that makes one kneel before the elegance of the human spirit and the yearning that is at the essence of every life.” —The New York Times Book Review

"One of the best books I have read in years." —Colm Toibin

Two and a half decades into a devastating civil war, Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority is pushed inexorably towards the coast by the advancing army. Amongst the evacuees is Dinesh, whose world has contracted to a makeshift camp where time is measured by the shells that fall around him like clockwork. Alienated from family, home, language, and body, he exists in a state of mute acceptance, numb to the violence around him, till he is approached one morning by an old man who makes an unexpected proposal: that Dinesh marry his daughter, Ganga. Marriage, in this world, is an attempt at safety, like the beached fishing boat under which Dinesh huddles during the bombings. As a couple, they would be less likely to be conscripted to fight for the rebels, and less likely to be abused in the case of an army victory. Thrust into this situation of strange intimacy and dependence, Dinesh and Ganga try to come to terms with everything that has happened, hesitantly attempting to awaken to themselves and to one another before the war closes over them once more.

Anuk Arudpragasam’s The Story of a Brief Marriage is a feat of extraordinary sensitivity and imagination, a meditation on the fundamental elements of human existence—eating, sleeping, washing, touching, speaking—that give us direction and purpose, even as the world around us collapses. Set over the course of a single day and night, this unflinching debut confronts marriage and war, life and death, bestowing on its subjects the highest dignity, however briefly.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 11, 2016 – Arudpragasam's first novel vividly captures a day in the life of Dinesh, a kindhearted young man who chooses to stay behind in an evacuee camp during the Sri Lankan Civil War in order to help the injured and dying. Early in the morning, Dinesh receives a proposal from a stranger named Somasundaram to marry his only surviving daughter, Ganga, as a form of protecting her when the aging man dies, whether of age or during an attack on the camp. Dinesh accepts the offer only to quickly learn that getting to know and sustain a relationship with his new wife during the war will be more difficult than he imagined. In a world scarred by daily shellings and explosions, Dinesh spends his sleepless nights obsessing over how things will be better with his new wife. In Dinesh, Arudpragasam creates a wholly empathetic and doting character, though at times the writing is a bit slow. Still, the author crafts flowing, beautiful sentences that put readers in the middle of the camp with Dinesh and Ganga. Dinesh finds beauty in the worst of situations, which contributes to making this debut deeply moving and hopeful.
The Story of a Brief Marriage
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Sep 06, 2016
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 208 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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