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The Beach at Galle Road: Stories by Joanna…
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The Beach at Galle Road: Stories

by Joanna Luloff

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These loosely connected stories of Sri Lanka are mostly undated, but they seem to be set in the 1970s to early 1980s. The stories explore all areas of the island nation, including the capital city, coastal towns in the southern part of the country, towns in the interior, and towns in the north where civil war is brewing. American Peace Corps workers and international aid workers feature in many of the stories in the first half of the book. The Americans are absent from the last few stories in the collection. All of the stories share themes of loneliness, cultural barriers, and class or status differences. The stories are individually strong, yet the collection lacks something. Civil war looms in the background, yet the stories skirt the issues central to the war. It seems as if the author has deliberately avoided the political issues that resulted in war. That might work for a well-known conflict like the Vietnam War, but most American readers will have little familiarity with Sri Lanka's civil war. ( )
  cbl_tn | May 30, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I read The Beach at Galle Road: Stories, knowing that the author had been a Peace Corp volunteer in Sri Lanka. Her experiences come through the authentic characters and their stories. The book is a bit tedious to read but I decided that was partly because the author wanted readers to understand the complexities of life and politics in Sri Lanka through events that her characters struggle through, especially the constant unknowns. An excellent book of place. ( )
  MaryChar | Apr 23, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a beautiful, atmospheric collection of interconnected stories set in Sri Lanka. I was inspired to request the book because I had a friend from a foreign service family who was born and raised all over Asia. When I asked her what her favorite country was she said Sri Lanka without hesitation, even though the civil war was raging. I knew almost nothing of the country besides seeing the movie The Terrorist, which I recommend. This is not a book that propels you along, but each story grabs you in its own way. The stories center on the inner voices of ordinary people, both foreign and domestic, and as such create an intimate perspective of everyday lives on the verge of seismic change. I would say take a long afternoon and let yourself be immersed in this exotic, hopeful and tragic world. ( )
  goygirrl | Oct 15, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Here Luloff gives us a collection of loosely interconnected stories set in Sri Lanka that can either stand alone or be read as a single piece. The wide variety of protagonists (including old women, young mothers, teenage girls, little boys, adult men, and young American men and women serving in the Peace Corp in Sri Lanka) adds variety and depth to the book, but a theme of isolation, longing, and regret ties the wildly different lives of our different narrators together.

[full review here: http://spacebeer.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-beach-at-galle-road-stories-from.html ] ( )
  kristykay22 | Jul 24, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Beach At Galle Road by Joanne Luloff is a collection of stories that can stand alone but are also interconnected. They are told from the viewpoint of people, young and old,who are observers of the conflict that is the civil war fought in Sri Lanka. Each story is personal, creating a passionate re-telling because it is the little things, and not the headlines that make up the reality of war for those involved in them.

Because the stories are interconnected, the book has a sense of continuity that adds to the feeling that the reader is submerged in the lives of the people who frequent Galle Road, using it to travel away from, and into the village.

I enjoyed this book immensely and would strongly recommend it. The writing is moving and unobtrusive, you find yourself swept up in the lives of the characters and you are touched by the simple, ordinary things that make up their lives as they live under the threat of war.
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  mmignano11 | May 23, 2013 |
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To those living in the south of Sri Lanka, the civil war between the Sinhalese and the Tamils in the northern sector seems unreal, until north and south lives intersect.

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