The Sunday Times on the Web Plus
7th June 1998

Front Page|
Editorial/Opinion| Business| Sports |
Mirror Magazine

Front Page
Mirror Magazine

Book shelf

Telling many a tale with simplicity

In the life of some of us there comes a time when one has to take count of one's self. I knew that I'd be missed, mostly by the children and my husband. But then I told myself, none is indispensable. There were many things I wanted to do that were not done. Was that 'Tanha', craving I wondered. There were scribbled notes, skeletons of short stories, which I wanted to develop. 'The High Chair' had won an award and I was glad that is was there. And the Sinhala anthology of stories I wanted to bring out in a new edition. And what about all those things I meant to read some day?

These thoughts of a cancer patient awaiting surgery is picked from Sita Kulatunga's short story 'Cancer Days', one of 19 stories in her latest anthology, 'The High Chair' and 'Cancer Days' now being distributed by Sarasavi Bookshop.

The paragraph illustrates the simple, straighforward manner in which she structures her stories. The collection spans 25 years and includes award winning short stories written by the author. 'The High Chair' (1977) won the first prize in the competition held by the English Association of Sri Lanka. It has been translated into German and Japanese and has been published in Bonn and Tokyo respectively. "The Proposal' (1972) was highly commended and was among the first five stories selected at the short story competition held to mark the British Council's 25th anniversary.

Several other stories had appeared in magazines published here. Three stories - Umaru, In spite of, and Another safe - she says, are based on her experiences in Sokoto, Nigeria.

In an introduction to the book, Dr Laksmi de Silva of the University of Kelaniya says Sita Kulatunga has established her reputation as a skilled and perceptive writer both in English and Sinhalese.

Her abilities as a writer were acknowledged when her work was short listed twice for the Gratien Award, first for her novel Dari, The Third Wife now awaiting its third edition, and later for the MSS of The High Chair and Cancer Days. Dr de Silva describes these two stories as an impressive combination of creative writing and non- fiction that is likely to capture the interest of the student of Sri Lankan writing by its reflection of the development of the writer and the country over the past three decades, while the general reader too will appreciate the graphic and economical touches with which the author delineates the changing texture of our social fabric. War, revolution, the open economy, migration and globalisation are seen in their impact on individuals.


Presented on the World Wide Web by Infomation Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.

More Plus * Sri Lankan novel : Getting intense, getting political

Return to the Plus Contents

Plus Archive

Front Page| News/Comment| Editorial/Opinion| Business| Sports | Mirror Magazine

Hosted By LAcNet

Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to

The Sunday Times or to Information Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.