Why books?

Books last longer than the technology that produces them.
 

 

 

 

 

To buy

order from your local bookshop ( in the UK go to local  bookshops) or any on-line store.

If you buy from Amazon, please go to bookstore.

In India try  Flipkart.

 

 

The Books


 

Noontide Toll

‘Beautiful and sad, rising and falling like a love song... Nuanced [and] beguilingV Shoba, Indian Express

 ‘Poignant and illuminating... ’ Irish Times

 ‘Outstanding  stories, ... documented with humane appeal and masterly finessePeter Kemp, Sunday Times

 Gracefully crafted ... simple stories told in delicate prose ... The book is an elegant balancing act and a pleasure to readShehan Karunatilaka, Guardian

 ‘One of the most delicate contemporary handlers of English prose.’ Spectator

‘A detached and meticulous documentation of civil strife ... Noontide Toll is a remarkable piece of writing’ Jaya Bjattacharji Rose, Hindu

‘A moving chronicle of hope triumphing over despair’ Kirkus Review 

                                                                                                                                            

Watch a video introduction to Noontide Toll below.

 
 

The Prisoner of Paradise

 

‘In this blisteringly lucid novel, it’s as if Jane Austen, John Keats, Charles Dickens and even William Burroughs have clubbed together to render a masterful double-take on the nineteenth century’s own ideas of romance and empire, rendered in a colossally skilful, flexible hybrid of the best of English prose and prosody’ Todd McEwan  Herald Scotland

‘A terrific read: pacey, political, moral, atmospheric and, yes, definitely romantic’ Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Independent

‘Physical and psychological imprisonment are themes at the heart of this haunting, lyrical novel … this ambitious, captivating novel with its engrossing plot and striking style, has a bleak conclusion. But it succeeds in convincing that ‘the scratches of some poor scribe trying to climb out of a cell’ are not in vain’ Anita Sethi Times Literary Supplement

‘Gunesekera builds a world in a very direct, visual way that feels cinematic ... hugely atmospheric’ Lucy Daniel, Daily Telegraph

 ‘A delightful study in method writing, an affectionate, playful tribute to Lalla-Rookh, Jane Austen, the Brontës and the historical romance itself … we feel the smack of truth across the eras’ Susan Elderkin Financial Times

 ‘Gunesekera’s mellifluous prose alone is worth the price of admission. His description here of a first kiss has surely never been bettered.’  John Harding Daily Mail


 

 Watch a video introduction to The Prisoner of Paradise below.

 
 
 

The Match

This is a most intimately and precisely imagined novel ... so complete a match between empathy and artistry, between lively observation and intellectual grasp of cultural tensions, always surprises. Henry James said about Balzac’s relation to his characters: "It was by loving them that he knew them." Loving, while remaining in sharp moral control, is a hard business, but it leads to the profoundest kind of knowledge, as The Match so movingly demonstrates.’ Paul Binding, Independent on Sunday

‘Gunesekera  is gifted and … has written an engaging, appealing, universal and hopeful book that not only shows what fiction can do, it shows why fiction is written – and read. Eileen BattersbyIrish Times

Embracing everything from Skants underwear to Cherie Blair’s late baby. Each emerges quite naturally from narrative and dialogue. Time never hangs too heavily on the story ... Few novelists have so skillfully underlined the beauty of patience as a redeeming virtue.’  Jonathan Keates,Times Literary Supplement

A compassionate and completely convincing portrait of exile, sobering but oddly and doggedly hopeful. There is something, in fact, of the optimism, the energy, the creative chaos, the fragility, and even the literary awkwardness, of Forster’s A Passage to India about its end, but Gunesekera is the far more natural story-teller. The narrative pace is impeccable, the dialogue accurate, the feel for place certain, the portraits sharp.’ David Crane, Spectator

Romesh Gunesekera has that essential gift of the novelist: the ability to make words live, to create life on the page; and he does so with grace and good humour. This is as enjoyable a novel as you are likely to come across this year.’ Alan Massie, Scotsman

 

Heaven's Edge

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

 ‘A magnificently constructed and brilliantly executed novel.Julie Wheelwright, Scotland on Sunday

 ‘Subtle, poetic and dreamlike … all the great binary themes of humanity – exile and homecoming, trust and betrayal and of course, love and hate – are here … makes for engrossing reading.’ Travis Elborough, Waterstone’s Book Quarterly

 ‘A palpable, terrifying world that, for all the precariousness of its beauty, harbours love and hope Maya Jaggi, Guardian

Lyrical and inventive prose ...’ Merle Rubin, Los Angeles Times

‘The compelling romance makes this one of his best.’ Publishers Weekly

‘Dreamlike ... encompasses both history and myth’ Aamer Hussein, Independent

‘Heart-stopping action ... set in an unusual landscape, exquisitely described’ David Robson, Sunday Telegraph

Luminous and hard-hitting’ Lavinia Greenlaw, Financial Times

A gripping novel, written with an unforced poetic assurance’ Abdulrazak Gurnah, Times Literary Supplement 

Spare and muscular ... resolutely grounded ... uses realism to transcend reality, to hint at deeper mysteries and more profound truths.’ Akash Kapur, New York Times

‘At once dream-like and sad, immediate and shocking ... Irish Times

 

 

The Sandglass

Romantic, mysterious and laced with a sense of yearning... a roller-coaster ride’ Carolyn Hart, Marie Claire 

Enormous compassion and insight, a tenderness that is infectious and forgiving. ... a songbird among authors’  Rosemary Goring, Scotland on Sunday

An amazing combination of a bleak and easy read..... the book slips on by you lightly, almost without effort.’ Ali Smith, Scotsman

A novel of true distinction, the work of a profoundly honest mind, one utterly unconcerned with th authorial self, intent instead on the lot of fellow humans and its meaning’ Independent on Sunday

'Mature meditation on time and death. There is a desperate sadness to it, which is totally engrossing. It is a brave, beautiful novel, which confronts chaos with relaxed wit and elegance.’ Simon Linnell, Sunday Telegraph 

Elegiac, freighted with melancholy, The Sandglass paints a vivid portrait of a society in that recent past and in a frightening present’ Shena Mackay, Independent

This outstanding novel ... in this book the women are stronger than the men, and Pearl ...is strongest of them all’ Penenlope Fitzgerald, Observer 

The Sri Lankan episodes are often Dickensian in their blend of comedy and menace, the English scenes are touched almost everywhere with lyricism and sensuousness... behind the narrative’s deft and subtle interweavings of elaborate histories and fugitive memories, crashed dreams and still moments of promise, there lie strong echoes of Thomas Hardy’s poetry with its delicate images of remembered pleasures and visions of despoiling loss.’ Shirley Chew,Times Literary Supplement 

Beautifully written prose,... deft way with characterisation and description, dialogue which is full of life, and buckets of charm ... there is a great deal of page-by-page pleasure ...’ Philip Hensher, Mail on Sunday 

The Sandglass ... is chiselled and precise enough to register powerful emotion without lapsing into sentimentality. He writes movingly of human vulnerability and of the misfortunes and catastrophes that overwhelm individuals and nations.’ Suvir Kaul, India Today 

Fiction of the week ... Few novels are more obviously - and deservedly - destined for major success.’ Irish Times

 

Reef

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize

 

‘A book of the deepest human interest and moral poise...Very few contemporary novels combine at so high but natural a pitch qualities of epic strength and luminous intimacy.’ Candia McWilliam, Independent on Sunday 

‘Gunesekera has created a work of strange, slow-motion, underwater intensity. Put your ear to the page and you can almost hear the ocean whisper.’ Robert Winder, Independent

‘A kind of Asian Tempest, drenched in the unreal, tropical colours of dream...One of the best novels published this year.’ James Wood, Guardian

‘Dark as one of Graham Greene's tropical undergrowths, funny in the way that Naipaul can be, multi-layered in the manner of Joyce, evocative as Narayan, Reef  is a thing of Beauty.’ Alan Taylor, Scotland on Sunday

‘A sensuous feast of delight, incessantly pleasurable to read…a book to slowly devoured, page by page.’ David Park The Times

‘Reef, one of the outstanding novels of our decade...  Independent on Sunday

 'Lost innocence in the final years before the war is the theme of this eloquent first novel by Romesh Gunesekera, whose Monkfish Moon, a collection of stories about his homeland of Sri Lanka attracted critical attention here in 1993....[This] powerful novel preserves that memory beautifully...Reef is peopled with colorful, memorable characters....The book is incandescent." Edward Hower, New York Times Book Review

  ‘The book’s own spell arises from [a] voice … we have seldom heard before … calmly, it gives us a new and unexpected world; and gradually makes it feel like home.’ Pico Iyer, New York Review of Books

 ‘Wholly original, very ambitious language, and … exquisite.’ Neil Gordon, Boston Review  

‘Sensuous and impassioned … incandescent.’ Guy Amirthanayagam, Washington Post

 ‘This short book is truly exquisite. You could travel around the world and not be so thoroughly transported to another place .. heartbreaking.’ Carey Harrison, San Francisco  Chronicle                                                                  

‘A feast of language and meaning, which becomes richer and more nourishing with each mouthful.’ Patrick Rengger, Toronto Globe

 

 



Monkfish Moon

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

‘[his] language has a simple surface-but the simplicity is deceptive; his observation is as close as the stare of a voyeur.’ Sabine Durrant,  Independent

 ‘Strikes the reader like a hammer blow...[the] subtly erotic prose animates Sri Lanka's natural luxuriance, veined with menace...’ Nisid Hajari, Voice Literary Supplement

 ‘Tropic lushness burgeons from every cranny of these stories...there are spice gardens, flame trees, frangipani and hibiscus hedges. But all this merely seems a luscious veil behind which violence and viciousness hide...Graceful and grim, [these stories] constitute carefully civilized bulletins on barbarity's reverberations.’ Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

‘The delicate firmness … gives this collection a haunting, eye-opening quality’ Ruth Pavey, Observer

‘The most startling aspect of this evocative book is how distinct one tale proves from another. These sad, spare stories illustrate the shocking fragility of the whole modern world.’ Suzanne Berne, New York Times Book Review

‘Full of the uncertain sadness of exiles and dreamers...Gunesekera's characters become memorable emblems of solitude and despair...[His] prose pulses with precision, without stridency or showiness...’ Natasha Walters, Vogue

‘A finely honed descriptive pen, and each page is vivid with atmosphere and sensations, bringing alive the tropical island. The tension of ethnic strife is palpable...his stories resonate, haunt you with elusive truths he never named.’ Tarun Tejpal, India Today

‘[He] portrays with striking sensitivity .. and poetic modulation, experiences which are essentially Sri Lankan’ Jayadeva, Island

 

The Spice Collector

A Limited Edition collection of Madeiran stories. A parallel text bilingual edition in English and Portuguese, published in Maderia.

 

 

 

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