Cinnamon Gardens

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McClelland & Stewart, Dec 4, 2012 - Fiction - 400 pages
2 Reviews
Set in 1920s’ Ceylon, during the turbulent closing days of colonial rule, this evocative story of intertwined lives takes us behind the fragrant gardens and polished surfaces of the elite who reside in a wealthy suburb of Colombo to reveal a world of splintered families, conflicted passions, and lives destroyed by class hatred. Annalukshmi, a spirited young schoolteacher, finds herself caught between her family’s pressures to marry and her own desire for a more independent life. Then there is her uncle Balendran, whose comfortable life of privilege is rocked by the arrival of Richard, a lover from his past. Their uneasy reunion re-ignites tensions with Balendran’s powerful father, and threatens all on which Balendran has built his present life. Sensual, perceptive, and wise, Cinnamon Gardens is a novel of exceptional achievement – an exquisite tapestry of lives.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An ambitious, often moving, but ultimately unsatisfying second novel'set in the former Ceylon in the 1920s—by the Sri Lankan—born (now Canadian) author (Funny Boy, 1996). Selvadurai's frustratingly ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Poodlerat - LibraryThing

Cinnamon Gardens is Shyam Selvadurai’s second novel, set in 1920’s Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka), a country still under British colonial rule. The book narrates one year from the lives of members of a ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Shyam Selvadurai was born in 1965 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He came to Canada with his family at the age of nineteen. He has studied creative writing and theatre, and has a B.F.A. from York University.

Funny Boy, his first novel, was published to immediate acclaim in 1994, was a national bestseller, and won the W. H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award and, in the U.S., The Lambda Literary Award, and was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association. Cinnamon Gardens, his second novel, was shortlisted for the Trillium Award. It has been published in the U.S., the U.K., India, and numerous countries in Europe.

Shyam Selvadurai lives in Toronto.

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