July 15, 2015: Nayomi Munaweera


TNayomi Munaweeraonight, 8 PM on KPFK. If you have been paying attention even a little to novels lately esteemed for their emotional reach and vivid historical portrayals, you will have heard of or by now read the debut fiction from my guest tonight. Nayomi Muneweera’s Island of a Thousand Mirrors makes teaching readers and engaging them, composing endlessly enrapturing lines and affecting characters seem easy, with sentences so consistently elegant that you do not even realize you are being guided through an unfamiliar world, introduced to a family saga and offered a political analysis, too. Born in Sri Lanka, whose post-colonial history and brutal civil war is the subject of the novel, raised in Nigeria and the US, Muneweera’s first book is some big first book indeed. Published in South Asia in 2012, nominated for all kinds of literary awards and winning the Commonwealth Regional Prize for Asia, the novel is now available in the US, and finding an audience in readers who might favorably compare it to work by Isabel Allende or Barbara Kingsolver. Janet Fitch, bestselling author ofWhite Oleander says “Munaweera writes with ferocity, fire and poetry of the incomprehensible madness of civil war and its effects upon those caught within it… A masterful, incendiary debut.” Listen live on the radio or online, and find a free download at KPFK Audio Archives. Thanks, always, for listening.