Paulliver (paulliver) wrote in bookish,

Funny Boy

“Funny Boy” by Shyam Selvadurai isn’t just about being ‘funny,’ it’s also about being a minority in a country far less circumspect in its racism than Western countries. Happy people are few and far between in this novel. Arjie’s crisis of sexual identity lives under the looming threat of racial persecution for being Tamil in Sri Lanka. His mother is at least emotionally involved with another man, who is a journalist killed by the police for investigating their abuses, and her futile attempts to uncover the truth only get more people hurt. His father lives under the illusion that as long as he keeps his head down and voice quiet he can have a prosperous life, but that illusion is ripped away.

Now that I think about it, everyone in this novel, starting with Arjie in the opening chapter, believed at one point they had found a little paradise, their place in the world, and had it taken from them by prejudice of one kind or another.

Not that I wish to discourage any of you from reading such a well written book. I read it in one afternoon myself.
Tags: author: s, genre: contemporary, genre: fiction, review

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