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Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai

Funny Boy

by Shyam Selvadurai

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5731217,309 (3.82)32



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Beautiful, moving story of a boy in Sri Lanka, having to cope with his "otherness" and the growing tensions between Tamil and Singhalese people. Very clearly written, attention to detail. A classic! ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
I really enjoyed Funny Boy but thought that some situations in which the young narrator overhears adult conversations were forced. Overall though, this is an intriguing novel about the civil war in Sri Lanka and a young boy growing up and discovering his sexuality. ( )
  mynovelthoughts | Jul 8, 2012 |
In a sentence, this is the story of a young boy growing up in Sri Lanka during the civil war and slowly realizing that he's gay. But it in the bigger picture, it's about anyone who is different and growing up in any traditional culture and family, and the confrontation with injustice. Beautifully and sensitively written. Although the author doesn't cover the Edenic qualities of Sri Lanka that I so love in novels by Michael Ondaatje and Roma Tearne, I still loved this book. Highly recommended for readers who appreciate quality fiction. ( )
2 vote Nickelini | May 29, 2011 |
Set in Sri Lanka, this is a series of events in a young boy's life, looking at politics, race relations and sexuality. At the start of the book, Arjie is very young, so is often overlooked by those around him, so he makes a great observer, though we as the reader often can connect the dots quicker than him as a narrator.
Through Arjie and his extended family, we get a real insider's view on life in Colombo in the late 70s and early 80s, told in hindsight, but from what he saw: Radha Aunty falling in love with a Sinhalese man, the return from Australia of a journalist Daryl Uncle (his Amma's former boyfriend), the arrival of Jeganm the son of his father's childhood friend.
However, we cannot forget Arjie and this important stage in his life, from child to adholescent. In the first chapter, we see a young boy preferring to play with the girls rather than the boys, being called "funny" by his family, as they see his sexuality before he understands it. Through the book, we see him struggling to understand his sexuality, as well as his ethnicity as a Sinhalese-speaking Tamil and his position in the family.
For me, this was a really good book to get a look at Sri Lanka, we all see the news with reports of the Tamil Tigers, bombs in Colombo, but this book helped me understand the situation a bit more and inspired me to find out more. ( )
  soffitta1 | Mar 29, 2010 |
Turmoil in Sri Lanka as seen by a young gay boy in a homophobic culture. ( )
  ffortsa | Dec 20, 2009 |
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To my parents, Christine and David Selvadurai, for believing that pigs can fly.
First words
Besides Christmas and other festive occasions, spend-the-days were the days most looked forward to by all of us, cousins, aunts, and uncles.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 015600500X, Paperback)

“A marvelous first novel, about growing up gay in Sri Lanka...from a brilliant new writer whose next book cannot arrive here quickly enough” (Kirkus Reviews).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The comic tale of growing up gay in Sri Lanka. The protagonist is Arjie, a member of a wealthy family who is considered funny because he likes to wear saris, play with girls, and hates sports. A look at homosexuality in the Orient and life in an extended family. The author is a Sri Lankan from Toronto.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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