Swimming in the Monsoon Sea
Nominated for the Governor General's Literary Awards 2005, (Children's Literature, Text)
The setting is Sri Lanka, 1980, and it is the season of monsoons. Fourteen-year-old Amrith is caught up in the life of the cheerful, well-to-do household in which he is being raised by his vibrant Auntie Bundle and kindly Uncle Lucky. He tries not to think of his life “before,” when his doting mother was still alive. Amrith’s holiday plans seem unpromising: he wants to appear in his school’s production of Othello and he is learning to type at Uncle Lucky’s tropical fish business. Then, like an unexpected monsoon, his cousin arrives from Canada and Amrith’s ordered life is storm-tossed. He finds himself falling in love with the Canadian boy. Othello, with its powerful theme of disastrous jealousy, is the backdrop to the drama in which Amrith finds himself immersed.
Shyam Selvadurai’s brilliant novels, Funny Boy and Cinnamon Gardens, have garnered him international acclaim. In this, his first young adult novel, he explores first love with clarity, humor,
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Alwis Amrith and Niresh Amrith felt Amrith looked Amrith nodded Amrith saw ane-Nona arms Aunt Wilhelmina Aunty Bundle aviary beach began boys budgerigars Bundle and Uncle called Canada Cassio chair chest Colombo courtyard cousin cried Desdemona door eyes face father ﬁght ﬁlm ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁnger ﬁnished ﬁrst friends front girls glanced hair hand heard hurried Iago knew Kuveni laughed living room Lucien Lindamulagé Lucky’s lunch Mala Mervin Michael Cassio Miss Rani monsoon morning mother Mount Lavinia Niresh asked Niresh grinned o’clock ofhis ofthe Othello Peries rehearsals rith role Sanasuma sarong seated Selvi Shaun Cassidy shirt shook his head shoulder side garden silent Sinhalese sisters smiled Sri Lankan stared stood Suraj talk Tanuja tell terrace things told took trishaw turned to Amrith Uncle Lucky veranda voice W/hen waiting walked Wanigasekera X/hat X/hen Yeah